1 January: New Year’s Day: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
I. Reading: Numbers 6:22-27: They are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.
II. Reading: Galatians 4:4-7: God sent His Son, born of a woman.
Gospel: Luke 2:16-21: They found Mary and Joseph and the babe...When the eight day came, they gave him the name Jesus.
On this first day of the New Year, we gather as one family to celebrate the feast and solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God who is also the mother of the Church and of all. There are three main reasons to celebrate today:
i. To honour Mary, for having been chosen to be the Mother of God.
ii. To ask for God’s blessings throughout the year that starts today.
iii. To pray to God peace in the world.
We see words of blessings in the first reading. God has been blessing us so we need to bless our children and people in the name of God. In the second reading, God has blessed us by giving his own Son Jesus in the appointed time (kairos=fullness of time/grace-filled) to set free the humankind from the slavery of sins, death and all corruptions. Mary gave us Jesus and Jesus gave us Mary to be our Mother, as Jesus taught “the Our Father...” he also thought us “Our Mother.” So let us call and honour Mary our Heavenly Mother who gave birth to the redeemer. The Gospel is proclaiming the Good News of the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem who is the king of Peace to save the world.
This New Year is God’s precious gift to us who invites us to work for peace throughout the world in this present violence and conflicts. Let us bear in mind that peace too is the gift of Jesus to us: “Peace I give you, my own peace I give you” (Jn 14:27). Only by keeping Christ’s peace in our hearts shall become the peacemakers in the world. Peace within us and peace around us should be our programme throughout the New Year.
Wishing you a Happy New Year & God’s Peace & Joy!