Liturgically, we begin the New Year with the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Mary in her perfect love and obedience to the will of God gave Jesus her human nature in order that he may be born into our humanity. One of Mary’s earliest titles in the Church was the new Eve. In the Old Testament, Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit from the tree of good and evil. Through their sin, Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness and were ashamed. By God’s intervention, their shame was covered with animal skins which required the shedding of the blood of an animal. Even though Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, humanity was not without hope because God would send his own Son through a Virgin in order to redeem and restore humanity through the shedding of his own blood. Mary would give birth to the New Adam who came as the Savior of the world. John Paul II wrote in his Encyclical Redemptoris Mater that Mary ‘lived intimately with the mystery’ of Jesus who was her son and that she was the perfect disciple. Mary looked down upon heaven in her arms at the birth of Jesus as his Mother. She looked up to heaven when her Son was on the Cross. Jesus, from the Cross, called her to be mother of John, thus transforming her role from the Mother of God to becoming the Mother of the Universal Church. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, pray for us!