Monday, January 1, 2018

God Doesn't Care Who Wins, But His Mother Does....

January 1 is not only New Year's Day, it is the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary. Without a doubt, today is the toughest of all Holy Days of Obligation to attend. Staying up well past midnight to ring in another year, celebrations of bubbly and booze, as well as holiday hangovers, makes it tough to get into Church for morning mass. But for those who do...or as of now, who did, it's a worthy one, for the universal Church honors our Mother Mary. And on a personal note, I would like to honor her because, in spite of what anyone says or believes, the Blessed Mother plays favorites. That's right, Our Lady—Notre Dame—like me and many others love the Fightin' Irish. 
Lou Holtz once said, 
Now I know you're going to say God doesn't care who wins. I say that's true, but I believe His Mother does. I firmly believe this school has been blessed. When men ask why this school is great, they'll need only to look at the Lady on the Dome.
This Dome is the center of campus. It sits as the crown jewel on God Quad. An aerial view of this space reveals a heart, to signify the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The University makes it known that it aims to be an institution dedicated to serving Our Lady. Is it fair to say that devotion is mutual? Can we all have some fun with this and think that Our Lady pulled for the 14th ranked Irish in the Citrus Bowl? Is it too much to believe they made her proud with an exciting game and big win over 17th ranked LSU? And might she have more sway on a day dedicated to her role in Salvation history? It totally is...but I'm still going to roll with it.
According to Busted Halo,
The use of the word “Solemnity” here is not a statement about Mary’s personality. It is a designation used for certain days within the liturgical (church-based) calendar of the Church. Solemnities are the highest rank of liturgical celebration, higher than feast days or memorials. By celebrating a solemnity dedicated to Mary’s motherhood, the Church highlights the significance of her part in the life of Jesus, and emphasizes that he is both human and divine.
Jesus' dual nature is art is quite evocative. My favorite image of Christ, the mosaic you see here depicts two different eyes to demonstrate the binary way Jesus sees us. Some might take solace in the fact that God sees us, period. However, I am comforted in knowing the Lord sees me as God and a fellow human being. Images of Christ the Teacher show an all-knowing God in a role that is familiar to us. I recently learned the symbolism behind the two fingers he holds upright beside a book. I should have known...or, not that is is a playbook but that this simple gesture reminds the viewers 1). of his humanity and 2). of his divinity.

USC fans, however, contend that these artists got it wrong. There should not be a separation between either finger; they should stand together. He's holding these fingers like Trojan fans do to signify FIGHT ON. Why? Jesus was clearly a USC fan. I have to admit, that's pretty good. AND This makes for an exciting debate come football season.

Ginny Kibutz Moyer of Busted Halo concludes by adding
Though New Year’s Day may seem more like a day for football than for Mary, there’s a beautiful spiritual significance in celebrating her during the heart of the Christmas season. Pope Paul VI, in his apostolic exhortation Marialis Cultus (1974), called the Solemnity of Mary “a fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels (cf.Lk 2:14), and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace.”
Christ the Teacher/Fight On!
When I really stop to think about the significance of Mary—who she was, what she did, how she lived and who she loved, I can't help but think how fitting it is that the first day of a new year is dedicated to her. I appreciate that the Church makes this day—when hope has fresh feet and resolutions run strong—a feast day for her. We ought to name churches and schools, universities and institutions in her honor. We should sing songs of praise and offer prayers for her intercession. I want to know her better, live more like she did and ponder the same things she held in her heart. I might be a little more inclined to do that if I could get some confirmation we share a certain bias...but I think I got that in a great start to 2018. Way to Go Irish. You did Our Lady's University Proud.

Photo Credits
Christ the Teacher
Christ Mosaic
ND Football Pix

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