Eastern Catholicism

Blessed John Paul II on the 1550th Anniversary of the Council of Ephesus

It’s January 1, 2013 and the Catholic Church (Western lung) celebrates the great Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. While the secular world dives deeper into revelry and chaos, Catholics gather at the Holy Liturgy to celebrate Mary as the Mother of God. On this day, Mary is the Theotokos – the God-Bearer. She bore Jesus Christ who is both God and Man.

Theotokos - Orans

Since many of you know that I have a great love for both Mary, The Mother of God and Blessed John Paul II, it shouldn’t be any great surprise that on the first day of this new year, I would give you the words of Blessed John Paul speaking about Mary as the Theotokos.

Blessed John Paul II Although many popes have commented on the Council of Ephesus over the centuries, Blessed John Paul II distinctively professes the great magnitude of the Council when he says in his Apostolic Letter, 
A Concilio Constatinopolitano I of his Holiness John Paul II to the Bishops of the Catholic Church for the 1600th Anniversary of the First Council of Constantinople and the 1550th Anniversary of the Council of Ephesus,

“The Council of Ephesus thus had a value that was above all Christological, for it defined the two natures in Jesus Christ, the divine and the human, in order to state exactly the authentic doctrine of the Church already expressed by the Council of Nicaea in 325, but which had been imperiled by the spread of certain formulas used in the Nestorian teaching. In close connection with these affirmations, the Council of Ephesus also had a soteriological significance, for it illustrated the fact that-as the well- known axiom has it-“what is not assumed is not saved.” But just as closely linked with the value of these dogmatic truths was also the truth concerning the Blessed Virgin, called to the unique and unrepeatable dignity of being the Mother of God, the Theotokos, as was so clearly shown principally by the Letter of St. Cyril to Nestorius(6) and by the splendid Formula Unionis of 433.(7)”

“While we recall the joy and exultation that the profession of faith in the divine motherhood of the Virgin Mary (Theotokos) aroused 1550 years ago at Ephesus, we understand that that profession of faith also glorified the particular work of the Holy Spirit, the work composed of both the human conception and birth of the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit and, again by the power of the Holy Spirit, the holy motherhood of the Virgin Mary. This motherhood is not only the source and foundation of all her exceptional holiness and her very special participation in the whole plan of salvation; it also establishes a permanent maternal link with the Church, as a result of the fact that she was chosen by the holy Trinity as the Mother of Christ, who is “the Head of the body, the Church.”(14)”

May we all come to know Our Lord Jesus Christ better through his Holy and Blessed Mother, who on the Cross, was given to us all through John, and is now our Mother. Let us pray that her Mary’s Universal Motherhood stands for all time as our Queen Mother.

3 replies »

  1. Hi Tom. Happy New Year! We were at the vigil Mass last night and you did a wonderful job with the 2nd reading and Prayers of the Faithful. You are doing a wonderful job overall!!! We read the bulletin and know how much you put into writing that and appreciate your knowledge of our beautiful Catholic Faith. Bob and I are thinking of attending the new classes in Jan. He is hesitant to sign up for the entire series, but we live “one day at a time,” so we will pray about it. Keep up the good work! Blessings, Mary Ann Minton

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