Mary, Mother of God – Solemnity

January 1, 2023


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Word Sunday

Scripture Study

RCIA Seekers

According to Pope Francis

Sunday Micro Retreat


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Catechist Background and Preparation
Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High School

OPENING REFLECTION FOR THE Mary Mother of God, Solemnity

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Give each student a piece of clay and have him/her shape one of the characters in the nativity story. Using a simple stable for display, invite youngsters to put their figures in place telling the story in chronological order.
• What are some characteristics that make Mary a good disciple?
• How are we like Mary?
• Why do you think Mary is called the Mother of God?


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In the Old Testament reading we hear an ancient blessing that is familiar to us today.


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• What is God calling Moses to do?
• What does God promise to do in this blessing?
• What does this blessing mean for us today?
In the gospel today, the shepherds come to see Jesus and give Mary and Joseph a message from the angel.
• Why did the shepherds come to the stable at Bethlehem?
• How do we know that Mary didn’t fully understand everything the shepherds told her?
• What did the shepherds do after they left Mary, Joseph and Jesus?


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• What happens when we take the time to really ponder something?
• What are some thoughts you treasure in your own heart?
• How do you bear Jesus to the rest of the world?

CATHOLIC DOCTRINE FOR THE Mary Mother of God, Solemnity

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Mary is the Mother of God and all of humanity

We believe in the full humanity and full divinity of Jesus. We also recognize Mary’s role in God’s saving plan. While she is the mother who bore Jesus, the human baby, she is also the Mother of God because we believe Jesus is fully divine. Mary is the mother of the whole person of Jesus, both his humanity and his divinity. At the Council of Ephesus in 431 the Church proclaimed Mary truly to be the Mother of God.
Mary is part of the salvation won by Christ and hears this news when the shepherds come to the stable. She does not fully understand what they say to her, but she follows God’s laws, contemplates the words of the shepherds, and fully cooperates with the mystery of God.
• How is it possible for Mary to be our mother, too?
• Why do we say that Mary is part of salvation history?
• What can we do to cooperate with God’s saving plan?


Mary Treasured These Words In Her Heart

Video  | 1st Reading Psalm  | 2nd Reading  | Gospel

Mary Mother of God, Solemnity

What memories do you cherish? Why are these memories so special?

The New Year is upon us. A time to cherish last year’s events and a time to look forward to new challenges. In the midst of the parades and bowl games, we take time to take stock and plan.

In these verses from Luke, the mother of Jesus took the time to reflect on the events of her Son’s birth. In doing so, she cherished the memories mothers have of their first experience of child birth. And she cherished the message that her Son would be the Messiah and Lord of all.

Children’s Reading | Catechism Link | Family Activity



Mary Mother of God, Solemnity – NOT AVAILABLE

  1. In the 1st Reading, the Jewish sage Ben-Sira, commenting on the commandment to honor ones father and mother, offers counsel on relations between children and their parents. How well is this followed in your family? What rewards does Scripture promise here and elsewhere to those who follow this commandment (see Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:2)?
  2. How does the 2nd Reading (including verses 18-21, a portion of Sacred Scripture sometimes omitted by lectors at Mass) form a template for relations within the family?
  3. Based on Herod’s response to the news of the coming of the Messiah, what kind of person do you think he was? What does it say about his view of the Messiah?
  4. What is Matthew’s point in emphasizing God’s watchfulness over Jesus? In fulfillment of Hosea’s and Jeremiah’s prophecies (verses 18-18, 23)?
  5. What relocation options face Joseph? How did God use prophecy, dreams, faith and circumstances to guide him?
  6. When, like Herod, do you feel threatened by Jesus’ Kingship? How do you react?
  7. From Joseph’s responsiveness, what do you learn about faith and obedience? How long would it take you to say “yes” if God asked you to relocate?
  8. Consider how God led Joseph to care for the Holy Family and protect them from danger. How have you noticed the Holy Spirit guiding your life? How sure of his guidance have you been? Despite uncertainty, how have you followed his guidance?


Mary Mother of God, Solemnity – NOT AVAILABLE

SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics


Our Need for a Savior

Mary Mother of God, Solemnity

BACKGROUND: Neither the religious nor the civil authorities in Israel recognize that God’s Messiah has come; yet the poor, the marginalized, the exploited do. They see him in a little baby whose cradle is a food-box for animals. Yet he is also a descendant of Abraham and on the eighth day is circumcised and enters into God’s eternal covenant with Israel. Yet his mission is not just to observe but to fulfill the Law, so that all people might become God’s “adopted sons and daughters.” And that includes us.


  1. What experience or circumstance in your own life has helped you realize your need for a Savior?
  2. Which people have brought Christ’s saving love to you?
  3. Which people challenge you the most in your call to bring Christ’s saving love to the world?
  4. Antisemitism is once again a growing problem in our world; yet Vatican II definitively condemned it as unchristian. What can you do to fight it?
Practice: Today’s reading from Galatians gives us a perspective on the Lord’s Prayer. To keep the prayer from becoming merely rote, sit in silence before you begin the prayer, and then ask the Spirit to let it come from your heart. Each day also imagine a different group of people with whom to pray this prayer so that you experience it as really addressed to our Father.


Our Lady

Mary Mother of God, Solemnity

1. What kind of sense would you make of shepherds and messages from angels and mangers? Did Mary get any final answers from Gabriel or the shepherds? Can you make sense of everything in your life? What do you mull over in your heart? What do you treasure and remember and preserve?

2. “Son, behold your mother” (Jn 19:27)! Does Mary now love all people with the same love she had for her son? Pope Francis mentions in his homily for Mary, Mother of God, that Mary shared our condition and that her heart was enlarged through sorrow. How does she help us on difficult and obscure paths in life’s “pilgrimage of faith?”

It is said that the residents of Ephesus used to gather at the gates of the basilica where the bishops were meeting and shout, “Mother of God!” The faithful, by asking them to officially define this title of Our Lady, showed that they acknowledged her divine motherhood. Theirs was the spontaneous and sincere reaction of children who know their Mother well, for they love her with immense tenderness. But it is more: it is the sensus fidei of the holy People of God, which, in its unity, never errs.

Mary has always been present in the hearts, the piety and above all the pilgrimage of faith of the Christian people. “The Church journeys through time… and on this journey she proceeds along the path already trodden by the Virgin Mary” (Redemptoris Mater, 2). Our journey of faith is the same as that of Mary, and so we feel that she is particularly close to us. As far as faith, the hinge of the Christian life, is concerned, the Mother of God shared our condition. She had to take the same path as ourselves, a path which is sometimes difficult and obscure. She had to advance in the “pilgrimage of faith” (Lumen Gentium, 58). …

Her sorrowing heart was enlarged to make room for all men and women, all, whether good or bad, and she loves them as she loved Jesus.

Pope Francis, Holy Mass on the Solemnity Of Mary,
Mother of God, January 1, 2014


SOURCE: Sunday Web Site – Saint Louis University


The Grace of being amazed by God’s creation

Mary Mother of God, Solemnity

All who Heard It were Amazed

Luke likes to use the word “amazed” in his writing. This word is found 13 times in the Gospel of Luke compared to only four times in the Gospel of Mark and seven times in the Gospel of Matthew.
  1. And you? how amazed are you to hear the Christmas story once again? Is it still fresh and exciting for you? or maybe you are bored hearing it over and over again?
  2. What in your life, relationships, and daily tasks is amazing to you? Make a list of all the amazing people you meet, events you go to, and things that you own and reflect on the spiritual aspect of it.
  3. Are the items on your list amazing “just because,” or is there a deeper meaning hiding behind this ‘amazingness.”



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