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Published annually by Liturgy Training Publications, the above poster presents all the seasons and celebrations of the given liturgical year. Each year the peripheral illustrations vary; in this example we have people at prayer and work throughout the year. If I am not mistaken, the artists always feature Mary and Jesus in the center; and that’s appropriate, for Jesus is the Heart of our Faith—the Beginning and the End and Everything In Between. A close second is the Blessed Virgin Mary, duly honored today for her maternal role in the life of God and in our lives.
The roundness of the wheel suggests the cyclic nature of time. Events repeat, year after year; the word anniversary means the “turning of a year” (so there are no “month anniversaries”; call them monthiversaries if you must). The roundness of the wheel also suggests the pregnant womb, the maternal tabernacle. Aaron’s blessing in the Book of Numbers speaks of the graciousness of God, which He bestows in the granting of yet another year of life, or another generation. With his words Israel’s “protopresbyter” (first priest) invokes God’s Name upon the Israelites; literally, he puts it on them—divinely brands them with a kind of interior tattoo. Through Mary’s free and conscious consent, God identifies with mankind in a most exterior, visible manner—in the flesh.
By Baptism you and I became adopted daughters and sons—an exalted, unearned status, always courtesy of God’s gracious will. Just as the Spirit was poured into the womb of Blessed Mary, thus Abba pours Him into our hearts, thereby making them fresh, fragrant, and fruitful.
Mary’s feast at the turn of a year affords us a pregnant pause, to do what Mary did: she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). Only when we pay attention to how God reveals Himself in life (though, above all, in Jesus) can we also deliver the Lord in this year’s abundant crop of godly actions, words, and thoughts.