Holy Days Of Obligation 2011
January 1, 2011 by staff
Holy Days Of Obligation 2011, For Christians, the coming weeks are a source of joy. Advent and Christmas seasons dominate our thinking, and rightly so. But the end and beginning of the calendar year also have a unique spirit Marian, especially here in northern Colorado.
Wednesday, December 8, a day of feast of precept, marked the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This article of faith Immaculate Conception Catholic-restraint that Mary was born without sin as a special privilege granted by God to the mother of the son of God. Under the title “Immaculate Conception”, Mary is the patroness of the Archdiocese of Denver. So, this holiday is doubly important for our local church.
In recent decades, another large-Marian feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12 (celebrated on 11 December this year to avoid conflict with a Sunday of Advent), took a powerful place in the lives of our local church. As Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary’s role in the conversion of Latin America to the Catholic faith was crucial. Its impact on the history of our continent was immense. Therefore it is venerated today by the universal Church as the patroness of the Americas, North and South. And because his appearances to St. Juan Diego took place in Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe has always played a key role in the lives of more and more of our nation’s Mexican community, including hundreds of thousands of Catholics in Colorado who are proud of their Mexican origin.
But there’s more. December 16 is the feast of the Archdiocese of Our Lady of New Advent, the title of Mary as patroness of our local Church during the years of preparation for the AD 2000 and the Great Jubilee. And finally, on January 1 of each year celebrates one of the greatest Marian feasts and the oldest on the calendar of the Church Universal: the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
As the Immaculate Conception, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is a holy day of obligation. Contrary to the Immaculate Conception and Christmas itself, the holy days which are continuing obligations of the Mass for Catholics, the duty of the Mass of the Solemnity of Mary is distributed in the United States in 2011 because the party falls on a Saturday. But that does not diminish the beauty or the seriousness of the day as a celebration of Marian.
We Catholics are not alone in our love for Mary. Hundreds of millions of Eastern Orthodox Christians venerate as well, particularly in the historic title of Theotokos, “Mother of God.” And despite the very profound differences that separate Christian and Muslim faith, Islam of reservations for Mary a kind of particular admiration as Mother of Jesus, who is respected as a “prophet” in Islamic thought.
Each of these great Marian feasts speaks eloquently to a different aspect of Mary as virgin, mother and intercessor. But they all have a deep love for her as a Catholic model of discipleship, obedience and trust the Bible, and the hope for our own humanity. Mary is venerated by Catholics of all ages. But it can never be captured or “owned” by a culture or ethnicity. It belongs to us all, just as all of us belong to and have obligations to a Catholic faith community much larger than our own parish or the nation.
More important: The greatest gift we have of Mary is not, finally, something About Mary. The “good news” that we believe is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the story of our redemption through the sacrifice of the only Son of God, made possible by the confidence of a young woman from Galilee. Mary can not hide or be separated from her son. It is still beyond even the greatness of God and the mission of Jesus Christ. She is the first disciple and more Christian. And therein lays its beauty with each new generation of believers.
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