Daily Reflection – Jan 1, 2018
Monday 1 January 2018
First Reading: NM 6:22-27
May God bless us in his mercy.
PS 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Second Reading: GAL 4:4-7
Gospel Reading: LK 2:16-21
Today’s Note: The Octave Day of Christmas
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.
I will bless them. (Numbers 6:27)
Happy New Year! It’s no coincidence that the Church celebrates Mary, the blessed Mother of God, on a day of new beginnings. It’s also no coincidence that our readings focus on how much God wants to bless us, even as he has blessed Mary.
Just look at today’s readings—they’re full of blessing! The first reading describes how Aaron prayed a blessing over the Israelites. The Responsorial Psalm asks God to “bless us in his mercy” (Psalm Response). The second reading tells us of the blessings of redemption that have come through Mary’s yes to God. And in today’s Gospel, Mary stands out as “blessed . . . among women” (Luke 1:42). Why?
Mary’s blessedness wasn’t a mythical shield guarding her from every temptation. Yes, she was born without original sin. But she didn’t walk around in a bubble. The blessing Mary enjoyed deepened every day as she cultivated it: she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
When the shepherds told Mary about the angels’ message, she treasured it. At the annunciation, when Gabriel addressed her as “favored one,” she pondered his greeting (Luke 1:28). She did something similar when the twelve-year-old Jesus stayed behind in the Temple and likely did so many times during his adult ministry. It made her aware and grateful for all the ways God was at work in her life and in the world around her. By treasuring and pondering her blessings, Mary also learned to accept and understand what was to come.
God wants to bless you this year. So make it your goal to imitate Mary. Ponder what God does in your life. Treasure the blessings he’s already given you. Let them show you how great God is and how much he loves you. And be on the lookout for all he has in store for you this year.
“Thank you, Father, that you want to bless your people! Help me follow Mary’s example this year.”