Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington celebrated Mass today for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl connected the celebration of the Mother of God with the World Day of Peace on January 1, which the Catholic Church has celebrated since 1968.
“This year in particular the Church’s call for peacemaking is very timely,” the Cardinal said. “Across our country, the past few months have been marked by unrest and protests calling attention to the relationship of trust and peace.”
In addition to the turbulence here, the Cardinal spoke of the continued aggression and bloodshed in the Middle East, particularly against Christians. “These long-suffering people are greatly in need of our prayers on this World Day of Peace and every day. Each one of them is a sister, each is a brother, and we cannot remain silent to their plight,” the Cardinal said, echoing Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Peace 2015, in which the Holy Father spoke of the importance of fraternity to creating stable, peaceful communities.
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, like all Marian feasts, teach us something about the identity and mission of Jesus, the Cardinal noted. Referencing the current art exhibit on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea, the Cardinal said “it is clear that in almost all the paintings her eyes are fixed on her Son and so, even in the paintings as in life, Mary directs us to Christ.”
Two titles that Mary and Jesus share: Mary, Queen of Peace and Jesus, Prince of Peace – are brought to mind in celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the World Day of Peace, in which “we are asked all over again with a new freshness that comes from faith in God and hope for the future to believe that it is possible to live in solidarity with others, that it is possible working together to build a community and a world of peace and that it is possible with all the challenges of globalization to still believe that we are one great human family each responsible for the other,” the Cardinal said.
In concluding his homily, Cardinal Wuerl called on the congregation to join him in seeking the intercession of Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Peace, for peace in our communities and for peace in the world, saying, “Let us resolve to be peacemakers first and foremost in our homes and in our local communities.”
The exhibition on Mary runs through April 12, 2015 and was organized with the support of the Archdiocese of Washington, and is made possible in part through the generosity of individuals and foundations in the archdiocese. For more information, visit the National Museum for Women in the Arts at www.nmwa.org.