Honoring the Blessed Mother, praying for peace...
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1, 2021): NM 6:22-27; PS 67:2-3,5,6,8; GAL 4:4-7; LK 2:16-21
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
As we start a new year, we pause to offer our gratitude His mother and ours. We enter this year with profound hope even as we acknowledge the suffering of brothers and sisters around the globe, perhaps including those near and dear to us.
On this Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we recognize the divinity as well as the humanity of her Son Jesus. We also venerate her singular calling to bear Him within her womb and then to share Him with the whole world. Only a week ago we hailed the birth of the Christ Child, come among His people to rescue us from the ugly destruction that sin causes in our lives. Now, as we start a new year, we pause to offer our gratitude His mother and ours. We enter this year with profound hope even as we acknowledge the suffering of brothers and sisters around the globe, perhaps including those near and dear to us. Lives and livelihoods are still at risk. Yet we know that our Almighty Father is always with us, as He was when the life of Jesus was threatened and the Holy Family had to seek refuge far from the land and the lives they had known.
In addition to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary today, the Church has named this a World Day of Peace just as it has on this date has since 1968. So let us pray to Mary our mother and the Mother of God to help us and our loved ones in the days ahead. We can also ask Her to intercede that we may embrace peace in our hearts and homes, our neighborhoods and nations. In the first reading today, we hear a special priestly blessing that reminds us of God’s immeasurable love for us. “The Lord said to Moses: …This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!” (Numbers 6:22-26). Let us make an effort to love and support one another now and always, and to entrust ourselves to the Lord’s mercy.
Suggested missionary action: We can honor the Blessed Virgin Mary today and pray for our brothers and sisters around the globe by offering the World Mission Rosary. We can also ask God to bless each and every one of us, His precious children, throughout the New Year.