The blessing of the New Year with Mary, Mother of God

The blessing of the New Year with Mary, Mother of God


Num. 6:22-27, Gal. 4:4-7, Lk. 2:16-21. Being the First day of the solar Gregorian calendar Year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. At the Council of Ephesus (451), the mother of Jesus was solemnly proclaimed as Mother of God or “Theotokos” – acknowledging the Godhead of her Son, Jesus Christ. Today, ushers the New Year, it is a day when many feel drawn to make good resolutions. What better new year’s resolution could we make than that of adopting Mary’s stance before the grace of God. Today’s Solemnity invites us to share in Mary’s sense of awe and wonder before God’s merciful love, made known to us in Christ. As we look towards the new year, we ask Mary to help us to treasure the Gospel as she did, so that Christ might come to others through us as He came to us through Mary. The Solemn priestly prayer for God to bless and protect us is especially apt at the beginning of the new year, when we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and World Day of Peace: “The Lord bless you and keep you.”

God has truly blessed us. We are in the hands of God. God keeps us in existence and never forgets us: “The Lord let the Divine Face shine upon you and be gracious to you.” To have God look upon us and have the Divine Face shining on us is a sign of God’s continued care for us. We have been graced with God’s life and love within us: “The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.” God always looks upon us kindly. We are called to be at peace with God, with one another and within ourselves. We must also take time to reflect and treasure how God is present in our life, strengthening us and giving us peace, even in the midst of challenging times. Today's second reading reminds us that God has sent the Son, born of a woman, to save us and make us the children of God. It is through Mary that God the Son became incarnate and because Jesus has shared our humanity, we are now invited into a new relationship with God. Today's Gospel gives us the account of the shepherds approaching the newborn Baby Jesus. Their report astonishes everyone who hears of it. The Gospel continues by relating that Mary treasures all these things and reflects on them in her heart. On the eighth day, Jesus is circumcised, according to the Jewish rite and He is given the name "Yeshua", Jesus, “God saves.” As we begin this new year and pray for peace, we can take Mary as an example of how we can say “Yes” to God. It will be something that we will have to reflect on, over and over, during the course of the year and throughout our lives. Today, we are called to be “God bearers" - to bring forth Jesus Christ into our own lives and the lives of others.

May God bless and empower us so that we may grow ever stronger in faith and the new year be blessed and be filled with joy, through His light and hope, through Christ our Lord! Amen!! Happy New Year and have a productive year 2022!!!

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