Greetings on the eighth and last day of the blessed octave of the Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord, Christmas. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Mary gave birth to Jesus, the eternal Son of the Father who is truly her son according to the flesh. She is the Mother of God.
God comes to us through Mary. The incarnation tells us of the dignity of our human nature. With Mary we can ponder these things in our heart and be filled with a divine hope and new way of seeing all of life illumined by the Light who has come into the world.
Because of Christ born of Mary we live in a new time. We can begin a new year because of what we celebrate in the Christmas mystery. We do so filled with hope. A hope that endures in the darkness of our world. In the midst of tragedies, man-made and natural, in the midst of the inhumanity present in the world today, in the midst of heartless terrorism, in the midst of sinfulness, we have the confidence that Mary accompanies us in the midst of darkness and she leads us to hope.
So as we begin 2018, we turn to Mary, the Mother of God, and ask for her aid, her intercession that we may be living witnesses of hope. A hope that proclaims by our lives that the Light has overcome the darkness.
+ ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
Archbishop of Davao
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines