Bishop Joseph E. Strickland: Mary: Mother of God and Mother of the Church

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By Bishop Joseph E. Strickland, Catholic East Texas, Aug. 9, 2022

As I write this, the Church is celebrating Mary, Mother of the Church on June 6. The tremendous gift that Our Lady is for the Catholic Church and for all humanity is something we can all ponder deeply, taking up the model that she gives us as she “ponders all these things in her heart.” I feel a tremendous responsibility to share the great image of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, especially in our diocese, because so many of God’s beloved children do not know her and even reject the idea of knowing and venerating her. I am very compassionate toward those who do not embrace Our Blessed Mother because the gift that she is truly is astounding and easily disbelieved. How could a woman, a true flesh-and-blood woman, be the Mother of God? Like so many aspects of our Catholic faith it can easily seem impossible and even wrong to believe that a mere woman could give birth to God’s Divine Son, and not only give birth to him, but nurture and support him through every moment of his Incarnation.

Many have likely studied the theologically significant term theotokos. This Greek term literally means “God bearer” and the Council of Ephesus declared this in 431 AD.  …

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