Saturday, December 31, 2016

01-01-2017 -- Mary, Mother of God, Year A

Jan. 1, 2017 - Mary, Mother of God, Year A 
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

As we stand on the cusp of a New Year, the readings call us to look backward to see where we’ve been and then to look forward to see the possibilities the New Year brings.

In the Gospel, Mary reflects on the events that have happened to her. She is able to see the wonder of God, the power of God at work in her life. And she treasures this in her heart.

She is calling us to do the same. So as we close 2016, we should reflect on where we’ve been.

Was it a good year? If it was, how was it a good year? What happened that made it a good year?

If it was a good year, what did we do right? And do we intend to stay the course?

Or was it a bad year? If it was, why was it a bad year? Was it a bad year because of something we did?  

If it was a bad year, what needs to change? What can we do to bring about that change?

The world is full of small miracles, but we only notice them if we take the time to look for them.

We should take some time to look at the year that has passed to see where the Lord was at work. Then we should treasure this is our hearts.

If we cannot see the Lord at work, then maybe we have to ask
ourselves, how we can draw closer to the Lord in the New Year?

We need this kind of self-reflection if we are to grow.

Having reflected on the past, we are then ready to look to the future. The road ahead is uncertain, but the road ahead is hopeful.

We need a blessing as we embark. We need to ask God to walk with us throughout the New Year, to be our constant companion.

The blessing that is given in the first reading comes from the Old Testament Book of Numbers. It is the Hebrew priestly blessing.

The priests of the Temple at Jerusalem would bless the people every morning after the sacrifice at the temple.

It was believed that the Divine Presence would shine through the fingers of the priests as they blessed the people.

For this reason, the Jews did not look at the priest saying the blessing. So out of respect, they looked at the ground and concentrated on the blessing.

And so now, as we begin this New Year together, I will ask God’s blessing upon you.

The Lord be with you.
And with your Spirit.

Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.

May the Lord bless you.
May the Lord keep you.
May the Lord smile upon you.
May the Lord be gracious to you.
May the Lord look kindly upon you.
May the Lord give you peace.

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