Daily Reflection – Jan 1, 2016
Friday 1 January 2016
First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27
May God bless us in his mercy
Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:16-21
Today’s Note: The Octave Day of Christmas
Today’s Feast: Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.
The Lord bless you and keep you!
How many New Year’s resolutions have you come up with? How many do you think you’ll forget by the end of January? Every new year is filled with great promise, but it also has a fair bit of uncertainty. Who knows what the future holds? As Mary prepared to have her baby circumcised, she probably felt a similar mixture of anticipation and apprehension. “The angel didn’t give me too much detail. What will our future be like? Will my child be accepted? Or rejected?”
But Mary answered her fears in the best way possible: she recalled God’s faithfulness in the past and held onto the promise that God had made his own “resolution” to bless and keep his people.
She recalled how God reassured Joseph that she had not been unfaithful. She recounted the way God had opened doors for her in Bethlehem so that she had a safe place to give birth. She remembered the shepherds and their stories of angelic visitors. God had protected her from shame; blessed her with a loving, faithful husband; and sent visitors at just the right time to remind her of his love and care. At every step of the way, God had blessed her and kept her, just as he had done for her people over the centuries. Why would he abandon her now?
What was last year like for you? It might have been just another year with the usual ups and downs. Or like Mary’s, it might have been a year of significant changes and challenges. Either way, take some time to recall one or two memorable situations. Try to see how the Lord has blessed you and kept you through them. Look for the ways he has proved his faithfulness to you. Let this “inspired remembering” fill you with hope for the year to come. Let it remind you that God, your heavenly Father, has resolved to love you and care for you all year long.
“Father, help me remember how you have blessed and kept me. Give me faith to entrust this new year to you.”