January 1 focus: Jesus came in the fullness of time, a blessing to the world, born of a woman, Mary. Mary shares in all the experiemces of her son, especially his infancy years.
The Feast of the Mother of God focuses on Mary's relationship to her son. The excerpt from the letter to the Galatians (cf. 4:4-7) is one of the few times Paul mentions Jesus and his mother.
There are many hero-figures in the movies who save the world, but few whose mothers are featured in the stories as Sarah is in Terminator 2. It isn't easy to compare Sarah Connor with Mary. Sarah seems too rough to measure up to our image of the Mother of God. But Sarah's love, like Mary's, isn't only for her son. Her love has a social dimension. Sarah is a strong mother figure. Her life is threatened because her child is to be the Savior of the world. In the film, Sarah shares the same dangers as her son. Her heart is pierced, so to speak, because she shares the same anguish and pain as her son John.
[Today's] short excerpt from the Book of Numbers is a hope-filled blessing, fitting for a new year and a new beginning. In the Terminator mythology, the human race is under threat of nuclear devastation stemming from our knowledge of how to create weapons of mass destruction. The need for a savior means a need for blessing, peace, and rebirth. In the future, John Connor is to be the blessing for his people.
[Today's Gospel reading] highlights the Jewish ritual of circumcision and the fact that Jesus is named as Savior, which signifies his mission. It is the name given by the angel when Mary conceived him. Sarah Connor ponders the mysteries about her son, as Mary "treasured all these things and reflected on themn in her heart."
For Reflection and Conversation:
1. Terminator 2 is an anti-violence film with a flawed premise: it uses violence to "destroy" violence. Today is the World Day of Peace in addition to being the Solemnity of the Mother of God. How does the message of this feast celebrating the motherhood of Mary speak to the issue of violence and its resolution?
2. When John Connor witnesses two little boys who are playing with guns, he says to the Terminator: "We're not going to make it, are we?" The answer given is that it is within our nature to destroy ourselves. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?