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Mary, The Theotokos

by Fr. Kevin Joshua Cosme

If Mary isn’t God, why is she the mother of God?

Out of the hundreds of titles that Christians through the centuries have given to Mary, like Mother of Perpetual Help and Our Lady of Guadalupe, her greatest title is no doubt “Mother of God”. To explain this, we have to refer as usual to her relationship with Jesus.

In the 5th century, a heresy called Nestorianism arose, downplaying the divinity of Christ. Nestorius said that Mary was only Christotokos, the “mother of Christ” the human being, who is not fully God. But in the year 431, the Council of Ephesus declared that Mary was Theotokos, the “mother of God”, the reason being that since Jesus is fully God, and Mary is the mother of Jesus, then Mary is the mother of God, plain and simple.

Of course, this does not mean that Mary is God or that she created God. A mother does not create her child, but conceives it in her womb, gives birth to it, and nurtures it to adulthood, which is exactly what Mary did with Jesus. On the cross, Jesus gave his Mother to us, so Mary is our Mother, too.

It is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, a feast instituted by Pope St. Paul VI in 1970. It is also the New Year! The Church clearly wants us to begin the year in the arms of our Mother. If you’re going to make some New Year’s resolutions, why not involve our Mother in your plans?

Flex our Faith Episode 13: Theotokos | Aired on December 25, 2021

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