God, who is all-knowing, already knew about the Fall of Man; but God still carried out His plan of creation and created man; not only because He wanted to give them human life, but more importantly, to offer him eternal life; i.e., to share in the Life of the Holy Trinity.
God created man with a free will – the freedom to choose God or not to choose God. God did not want to force man to love Him; rather, He wanted man to choose to love Him in response to His love. But since man fell into sin, there needed to be a Mediator between God and man, and quite fittingly, that the Mediator was someone who is both human and divine.
Therefore, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, in His love and obedience to the Father, was incarnate as man. For that to happen, the Eternal Word needed a human mother, and God chose Mary. The incarnate Word is true God and true man; His divinity was eternally begotten from the Eternal Father and His human flesh came from Mary, His Mother. From all the women on earth; past, present and future, Mary was chosen to be the Mother of His Son. God chose that the human flesh of His Son would come from Mary.
At the same time, God did not force Mary to be the Mother of His Son. Like every other human person, Mary had free will – the freedom to choose to do God’s will or not to do God’s will. And Mary chose to do the will of God, even at the risk her own life; for she could be charged with adultery, since she was betrothed to Joseph, and Joseph would not be the father of her child. By choosing to do God’s will, Mary had a unique role in Jesus’ mission as Mediator between God and man.
In 431 AD, the Council of Ephesus decreed that Mary is the Theotokos (Mother of God) because her Son Jesus is both God and man. Prior to the Council of Ephesus, Mary had already been referred to as the Theotokos in the early devotional and liturgical life of the Church. The theological significance of the title is to emphasize that Mary’s Son, Jesus, is not half God and half man, but 100% God and 100% man, and that Jesus’ two natures (divine and human) were united in Him. However, calling Mary the Mother of God has never been intended to suggest that Mary is also the mother of the First and Third Persons of the Trinity.
January 1st, 2023 is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Mass in Chinese will be celebrated at 10:30am and Mass in English will be celebrated at 2:00pm. Let us draw inspiration from the selfless love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who responded to the angel of God: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:39) O Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!