JAN. 1. MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD. LK. 2. 16-21
Updated: Aug 26
The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child, they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told. When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.
Prayer for todays Feast: MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD.
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation!
Grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.
Second reading for today: Galatians 4:4-7 God sent his Son, born of a woman.
When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.
As we start a new year it is only right the Church should turn our attention to Mary, the Mother of God, as she was born first, and without her Jesus Christ would not have existed. In being born of Mary, Christ became not only the Son of God, but also a son of Man, and as a result, being one of us, he has made us, through Baptism, heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven
The joy of Christmas Season is all about what God has done for us in being born into this world and how he become a member of the human race, “being born of a woman”. The liturgy today turns our attention to this ‘woman’ and the central role God gave her in his plan of salvation!
Mary had to fulfil all the functions of a mother for Jesus Christ, the son of God, a role that goes well beyond just giving birth, as it involves nurturing and caring for Christ for a period of many years, so she a had a major influence on him, guiding and influencing him for his entire life,
And while today’s focus is clearly on her role as “The Mother of God” it is equally important we also acknowledge, at the start of this new year, that she is also our mother; - and that she has the same nurturing and caring responsibilities towards us and the Church; - duties she was specifically given, by Christ, as he hung upon the Cross!
What flows from this however is we also have a God-given duty to acknowledge and honour Mary as our Mother; - to trust in her motherly love; - and to turn to her; - with confidence, when we experience difficulties and trials. And after we have done that we need to heed her motherly advice; - which will be made clear if we maintain a listening and humble heart!
Gospel Acclamation Heb1:1-2
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
now he speaks to us through his Son.
First reading Numbers 6:22-27
They are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them
The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”
This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’