1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, our Lady’s greatest title. This feast is the octave of Christmas. In the modern Roman Calendar only Christmas and Easter enjoy the privilege of an octave. One of the earliest titles given by Christians to the Blessed Virgin was Theotokos—“God-bearer.” We celebrate her as the Mother of God because, in bearing Christ, she bore the fullness of the Godhead within her.
In fact, the Church regards the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, as so important that it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries. On this day, we are reminded of the role that the Blessed Virgin played in the plan of our salvation. Christ’s Birth was made possible by Mary’s fiat: “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.”
“Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because His Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where His Son and His Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church 721
As we begin another year, we draw inspiration from the selfless love of the Theotokos, who never hesitated to do the will of God. And we trust in her prayers to God for us, that we might, as the years pass, become more like her.