The early Church was often struggling in its theology, and one of the first debates was on the very nature of Jesus: was he a man, was he God, or was he somehow both earthly and spiritual? Jesus, uniquely, is fully God (part of the Holy Trinity) but yet Son of both God and of Adam and Eve, through Mary – fully human.
And so, today, we celebrate Mary as Mother of God. The Mary Major Basilica was built to honor this very fact, and was the first church built in honor of and thusly named for Our Lady. It is on Esquiline Hill, the site of the legendary apparition of Our Lady of the Snows. We thank Mary for being the first “sacred vessel” to contain the body and blood of Christ, and for her giving spirit in presenting him to us. We see this too in the representation of Our Lady of the Snows, presenting to us both Christ and his message of Healing and Hope.
May we all take a moment today, those whose lives are connected through employment, vows, or some other way to Our Lady of the Snows (or indeed Mary under any title), and in that moment, rejoice and be thankful for all that is good in our lives. May we also respond as Mary did, in welcoming the many chances each day to present Christ to the world, and be thankful for these opportunities.
May Our Lady of the Snows continue to watch over us and pray for us. May we, in the spirit of her son, Jesus, share the healing and the hope with all that we may meet.
Happy Feast Day! Our Lady of the Snows, pray for us!