Mary, the Door of the New Year

Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

What changes on New Year’s Day? Besides the Calendar, not a whole lot. And yet there’s something magical about it. It almost feels like an enchanted door which, the moment we pass through it, allows us to leave the old year behind and to set out afresh into the new year ahead. At 11:59 p.m. last night we were still bound by old experiences, relationships, and resolutions; at 12:00 a.m. this morning we were set free to make new experiences, relationships, and resolutions. Out with the old, in with the new. In under a minute. Almost like magic.

If New Year’s Day is like a door which allows us to leave the old behind and to let in the new, then it’s quite fitting that on this day we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. For Mary is the door through which newness enters the world. Jesus came into the world to make all things new. And the moment Mary said “Yes” to the angel, the moment she conceived and bore in her womb the Son of God, Jesus’ mission of renewal and restoration began. Mary’s “Yes” is what separates the old order of sin, error, and death and the new order of grace, truth, and life. When the Father wanted to send His Son into the world, He knocked on the door of Mary. And she answered and let Him in.

It’s fitting then that we should come to Mass today and entrust this new year to Mary. She is the one who shows us how to bring newness into the world: By saying “Yes” to God. No newness can ever be brought into the world by disobedience, by saying “No” to God. This can only lead to sin, error, and death. It is to take a step backward, not a step forward, through the door of life. It is to pass through the door of Eve and Adam, not the door of Mary and Jesus.

Where is God inviting us to say “Yes” to Him this year? On what door of our life is God knocking, asking to be let in? What past experience, relationship, or resolution does God want to bring restoration and renewal to? Identify this area of your life, and entrust it today, at this Mass, to Mary, the Mother of God. Ask for her intercession during this new year, that it can be a year in which we can experience true newness—the newness that Jesus came to bring, the newness which Mary conceived and gave birth to. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.