SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD (A, B, C)

Theme: MARY, MOTHER OF GOD THROUGH WHOM WE ARE BLESSED WITH JESUS OUR SAVIOR

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

1. A Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! Today we celebrate the Octave Day of Christmas, that is, the eighth day of Christmas! Like Easter, Christmas is an important feast. That is why we celebrate it in eight days! But Christmas season does not end here! It continues up to Epiphany (5th January) and the Baptism of the Lord (12th January)!

Today we also celebrate New Year’s Day! The first and most important thing to do on New Year’s Day is to thank God for the many blessings of the past year and to ask God to continue to bless us with even more blessings for the New Year!

That is why the first reading today tells us about the Priestly blessing or the Aronite (Aaron) blessing, that is, the Priests are to bless the people with these words:

“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.” (Nb 6:24-26; Sunday Missal (SM)) 

That is, May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show favor to you and bring you peace, well-being, wholeness, prosperity, happiness, shalom, salvation.

2. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. In the responsorial psalm we ask God to bless us so that others may see God’s blessings on us and in us and come to worship our God! Thus we responded three times:

“O God, be gracious and bless us.” (Ps 66:2; SM)

And thus the first and third stanzas of the responsorial psalm:

“God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us. So will your ways be known upon earth and all nations learn your saving help.” (vv. 2-3; SM)

“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. May God still give us his blessing till the ends of the earth revere him.” (vv. 6-8; SM)

3. But more importantly, today we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God! We celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God because it is through Mary that we are blessed with Jesus our Savior! That is what the gospel today tells us in today’s liturgy! Thus the caption of the gospel today:

“They found Mary and Joseph and the babe …. When the eighth day came, they gave him the name Jesus.”

4. But most importantly, the second reading tells us that it is through Jesus that we are blessed with the Holy Spirit and we become the sons and daughters of God and brothers and sisters to one another! Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Fraternity!

5. Today we also celebrate World Day of Peace! And our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has a special message not only for us but for the whole world! And the message is themed: “Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace.”

The Pope tells us in his message that we were created to be brothers and sisters with Adam and Eve as our father and mother, but we did not live up to our calling. We fight and kill each other as Cain killed Abel.

But more importantly, the Pope tells us that God our Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to save us! And it is through the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ that he gave us the Holy Spirit making us into sons and daughters of God our Father and brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ!

And this brotherhood and sisterhood, this fraternity is the foundation and pathway to peace! The pope’s message is very long. It consists of ten sections. We should at least read sections two ( Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9)) and three ( “And you will all be brothers” (Mt 23:8))!   

Again, a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! Again, today New Year’s Day we thank God for the many blessings of the past year 2013 and we ask God to continue to bless us with even more blessings in the New Year 2021, especially with the blessings of Peace, Shalom, Salvation! Amen!

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!