“The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”(Numbers 6:25-26.)
Today, being the eighth day of Christmas, we are celebrating the woman in whose womb Jesus Christ was conceived. If we accept that Jesus whose birthday we celebrated exactly one week ago is God in human flesh, it follows that Mary is the Mother of God.
The fact that we are celebrating the Motherhood of Mary on the first day of the New Year also teaches us how we are to approach the next twelve months. In today’s Gospel passage, Luke tells us that: “She treasured all these things in her heart.” Mary was not a noisy, gossiping woman. She was not a nagging or complaining woman, she accepted everything that came her way quietly.
Mary accepted the plan of God in her life, she took in the highs and the lows, she was ready for the joys as well as the pains. She knew her role in God’s plan and was willing to obey every detail. When the child was born, she gave the name “Jesus” in obedience to the angel’s instruction. As St. Paul says: “At the fullness of time, God sent his Son born of a woman born under the law, to redeem those under the law so that we might become sons of God.” (Gal. 4:4). We are sons, we are not slaves, thanks to Jesus, the Son of God, born of a woman, Mary.
I pray for you that this new year, you shall rise to your true position as a Son in God’s house. That you shall eat no longer remnants but real food from the golden plate of God’s word, the Bible. That you shall be a blessing to the people you will meet throughout this year. I pray that you will be light in the midst of the darkness of sin and evil in our world.
In our first reading today, Moses prayed for the people: “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!” As Moses prayed for peace, the whole world is praying for peace today. Indeed, being the first day of January, we are also celebrating World Day of Peace.
In his message for the Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace, Pope Francis appeals to the international community and every individual to foster a “culture of care” by advancing on the “path of fraternity, justice and peace between individuals, communities, peoples and nations.” The Holy Father calls for “a common, supportive and inclusive commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity and good of all, a willingness to show care and compassion, to work for reconciliation and healing, and to advance mutual respect and acceptance.”
“A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace” is a “way to combat the culture of indifference, waste and confrontation so prevalent in our time,” Cain’s response to God – “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – after killing his brother, Abel, is a reminder that all of us are keepers of one another. Pope Francis concludes his message, urging “We never yield to the temptation to disregard others, especially those in greatest need, and to look the other way.” “Instead, may we strive daily, in concrete and practical ways, to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may this New Year be my best. Amen
Bible Study: Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 67, Galatians 4:4-7 and Luke 2:16-21