SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – A, B, C

Theme: WE THANK GOD FOR HIS BLESSINGS FOR THE PAST YEAR AND WE ASK GOD TO BLESS OUR NEW YEAR 

  • Numbers 6:22-27
  • Psalm 66: 2-3. 5. 6. 8. R. v. 2
  • Galatians 4:4-7
  • Luke 2:16-21

A Happy New Year to all of you! Today we celebrate the solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God! Today we also celebrate the Octave Day (8th Day) of Christmas! On Christmas day our focus was on Jesus! On the 8th day of Christmas our focus is on Mary his mother! Today we also celebrate the World Day of Peace. But today we also celebrate New Year’s Day! A Happy New Year to all of you! For us Christians this is not just an empty greeting, but this is a prayer to God, calling God’s blessings on you for a Happy New Year! But before we ask for God’s blessings, let us thank God for all the blessings of this year!

When we thank God for his blessings and ask God for more blessings, let us not forget in the first place, God’s blessings in creation! The blessings of creation, life, nature, the trees, the rainforests, the fresh air, the sun, moon and the stars, the earth and its fruits, the waters and its fishes, etc.! We always remember the blessings of Salvation, love forgiveness, mercy, joy, peace, freedom, etc., that came after Original Sin, but we tend to forget the Original Blessings of Creation that came before Original Sin!

 

The first reading today from the Book of Numbers tells us that God blesses Israel through Moses and the Law! ‘May the Lord bless you and keep you! May the Lord let his face shine (smile) on you and be gracious to you! May the Lord uncover his face to you and bless you with his peace!’ Peace here can mean peace, prosperity and happiness, wholeness and well-being, and peace with God and peace with men!

 

The responsorial palm is a response to the first reading and is a prayer for God’s blessings! ‘O God, be gracious and bless us! Let the light of your face shine upon us! O God continue to bless us until the ends of the earth revere you!’

 

The gospel today tells us that through Mary, God has blessed us with His Son Jesus Christ! The gospel today tells that through Mary, God has become food (manger) for sinful men (shepherds) for their salvation (“Jesus” means “God saves”)! God has not only become man, but has become food for sinful man for their salvation! What blessings! What grace! What favor! How can we thank God enough for His blessings of Salvation, a blessing far surpasses his blessings of the Law, and his blessings of Creation!

 

Again, the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Galatians tells us that through Mary, God blesses us with His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can be the sons and daughters of God, so that we can be the children of God! The second reading tells us that through Mary the Son of God has become the son of a woman, so that we sinners enslaved by the Law may become the sons and daughters of God!

 

God does this by giving us the Holy Spirit of his Son Jesus Christ so that we can cry “Abba (Dad), Father” to God! And as sons and daughters of God we are also heirs of God, inheriting his life, love and happiness! Again, what blessings, what graces, what favors! How can we thank God enough for his blessings graces, and favors!

 

Today in this Eucharist, we celebrate the Death and Resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, and the Risen Lord will continue to give us His Holy Spirit and bless us with his “sonship” and “salvation”! He will bless us with his peace, his love and his joy!

 

So once again, we thank God for all His blessings for the past year and we ask God to bless our New Year 2017! A Happy New Year to all of you and God bless you!

 

Amen!

14th June 2015 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Theme: THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL COME IN ALL ITS FULLNESS AT THE END OF TIME

  • Ezekiel 17:22-24;
  • Psalm 91 (92): 2-3. 13-16. R/ cf. v. 2; 2
  • Corinthians 5:6-10
  • Mark 4:26-34

Today we celebrate the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that the Kingdom of God will come in all its fullness at the end of time! (NJBC)

The gospel today tells us of two parables; the “parable of the seed growing by itself” and the “parable of the mustard seed”. (NJB)

The first “parable of the seed growing by itself” tells us that the kingdom of God is like a man who sowed the seed and the seed grew by itself. Whether the man was awake or asleep, the seed grew by itself! And when harvest time came the man reaped the crop!

The first parable tells us that the kingdom of God will come in all its fullness at the end of time, because it is God who makes his kingdom grow! We are therefore not to be discouraged or impatient, even in the face of difficulties, sufferings, problems, failures or persecutions! (NJBC)seed

We are to do what Jesus Christ did, that is, to sow the seed of the kingdom, that is, to preach the word of God, to proclaim the good news (Gospel Acclamation), and God will make the seed grow into his kingdom! As Paul the preacher says in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7:

“I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God gave growth. In this, neither the planter not the waterer counts for anything; only God, who gives growth.” (NJB)

The second “parable of the mustard seed” tells us that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grew, it grew into the biggest shrub of all and all the birds settled in it!

Again, the second parable tells us that the kingdom of God will come in all its fullness at the end of time, but more than that, the second parable tells us that the kingdom of God will include all the nations of the world! (CSB)

To begin with, the kingdom of God is not the kingdom of man. The kingdom of man is a political, nationalistic and military kingdom; but the kingdom of God is a kingdom of love, joy and peace! The kingdom of God includes all the kingdoms of man!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the Lord will plant a cedar tree, that is, a large evergreen tree, and all the birds will settle in it!

The first reading tells us that the Lord will restore the kingdom of David through David’s descendant!

But again, it will not be King David’s political, nationalistic and military kingdom; but it will be the kingdom of love, joy and peace of Jesus Christ! A kingdom that will include all the kingdoms of the world!

The responsorial psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.” (Ps 91 (92): 2; SM)

The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza gives thanks to God for his love and faithfulness/truth (Faley)! (v. 3; SM) Love and faithfulness are the two attributes of God!

The second and third stanzas tell us that God protects, rewards and blesses the just! (CSB; NJBC; IBC) The second stanza tells us that the just will be prosperous and live long lives (HCSB)! (v. 13; SM) The third stanza tells us that the just will be fertile even when they are old! (v. 15; SM)

 

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something important to tell us. The second reading tells us that we live by faith, not by sight!

Like Paul we would like to be in heaven with the Lord and to see him face to face, but we are on earth. We are to live by faith not by sight.

We are to please the Lord by doing good and by avoiding evil. For if we do good we will see the Lord in heaven, but if we do evil we will not see the Lord in heaven!

Today in the Eucharist, we give thanks to God for his kingdom and we ask God to continue to make his kingdom grow. We also ask God to help us sow the seed of his kingdom, that is, to preach his word, to proclaim the good news. We also ask God to help us please him by doing good and by avoiding evil, so that one day; we will be with him in heaven! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!