First broadcast on www.thesundayeucharist.com on December 31st, 2023 – the Feast of the Holy Family
Hello there, down under. I’m sorry to disappoint you. I had promised to be with you live but it’s not going to work out. There’s too many things going on here and I’m a bit tired, so it’s better to record something and send it to you. I hope it gets there in time. I hope actually to be with you later at a later moment, at a more convenient time. Of course, I would like to meet you in reality, but for the moment that’s out of the question.
Today’s letter – the Epistle to the Galatians – it’s a very short passage. It’s about a mother. It’s about the father. It’s about a child, and in the short passage, we we see that having a mother, having a father, and being a child is something very important in the government of God, in the wisdom that God wants to spread and share in creation, so it’s very important to see that God reveals Himself the through humanity – being man and woman, being father and mother, being a child. Those natural aspects of human life. They are to be respected and to be understood well because through them, God reveals who He is.
We see St Paul writes that the Son of God became man through – the Eternal Son of God – became man through a creature – Mary, the Mother of God – and redeemed all of mankind so that they could reconcile with the Eternal Father and return to the Eternal Father.
Of course, everything that has to do with sexuality and that has to do with gender as they say today that exists in God. God is the creator of all things. So all the ideas in about creation must have come from Him. In Him is the inspiration for all works of creation and also for the works of redemption. He is the source of all wisdom, so in God is womanhood, in God is manhood. In God Is mother – being a mother, being father, father, the fatherhood, the motherhood, it’s in God, but it would be totally against the whole Revelation and the tradition of the Christian faith to say that God is a mother. God is not a mother.
We address ourselves to God as ‘the father’. So there is a kind of paradox that there is motherhood in God. There is Womanhood in God, because he’s invented it and in creating he invents everything as being inspired by something that He is Himself and that He has in Himself. God has motherhood and womanhood in Himself, but He is not a woman. He is not a mother. The amazing thing is that the motherhood in God is revealed by God being in a mother.
Christ comes into the world while abiding for three months in the womb of his mother, whom actually we can call the ‘Mother of God’. This has been decided in the year 431, if I’m not mistaken, at the Council of Ephesus.
There a fight broke out. I think, you Australians, who would have felt at home in this Council of Ephesus, because there was a bar fight. The police came in, and everything finished well, probably with a good meal and the very nice decision that we could call Our Lady Mary, the ‘Mother of God’.
So, it was actually a very beautiful dogma, honouring woman and womanhood. That was the issue of quite a a vulgar brawl amongst the theologians. I think we should also always remember that that our church history is full of eccentricities. Anyway, God reveals the treasure of his inner life by choosing very radically a creature to be his mother and while being the source of all gifts and the main actor in the redemption.
The source of all giving and all forgiving wants to be receiving everything, from a creature. So he reveals the Holy Spirit, who is gift, by in exactly inverting it, If you like, by making really nature the mirror image of what he is, because he must receive everything. He’s a small baby. He lies there. He must receive everything from our lady. He must receive everything that has to do with his Earthly life. He has to receive from a mother and then later he needs, of course, the education of his adopted father. There also, the inverted roles. The father does not adopt a child, but the child adopts a father.
If we think about being a man and being a woman, we speak about different modalities, different ways of giving – that’s the secret. You can write books about Mars and Venus, and you can fill your bookshelf or earn your wallet by writing those books about gender, about psychology of men and woman, within men and woman, but in fact it’s a very simple thing: God has create created us incomplete. Our knowledge is incomplete, our physical presence is incomplete. We need the other, and in the same way that man needs woman and woman needs man.
Today, of course, it’s very fashionable to say that woman can do plenty of things that men cannot not do, but if you say the other thing – that man can do a lot of things that woman cannot do – then you cause a bit of a scandal, but, anyway, man and woman need each other because they’re incomplete and they complete each other, but in the same way it should be said that a child is incomplete because it needs a mother and it needs a father, and because a child is innocent and harmless and vulnerable, you can even say that a child has the right to have a natural father and the right to have a natural mother.
That’s not so much a matter of rules, but it is a matter of trying to understand the language with which, in which God tries to reveal the mystery of His self-giving, an eternal mystery of gratuity in himself. He needs us. He needs human nature of fertility through man and woman to reveal what is most precious in Himself – his glory His gratuity, His total self-giving love that we will see when we meet our heavenly Father.