Mary, Mother of God

Mary, Mother of God
Mary, through whom the world would be blessed
We too bless God for Mary, who bore for us the Child she named Jesus, the Saviour
Entrance Antiphon: A light will shine on us this day, the Lord is born for us: he shall be called Wonderful God, Prince of peace, Father of the world to come; and his kingship will never end,
Entrance hymn: Joy to the world
1st Reading – Numbers 6:22-26 – They are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66 – O God be gracious and bless us

2nd Reading – Galatians 4:4-7 – God sent His Son, born of a woman

Gospel acclamation – At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son

Gospel: Luke 2:16-21 – They found Mary and Joseph and the babel when the eighth day came, they gave him the name Jesus
Offertory: Hail Mary, Gentle woman
Communion: The First Noel
Thanksgiving: Ave Maria
Recessional: Salve Regina

In the first reading, God teaches Moses how to pass blessings onto others. Today’s responsorial psalm includes a request for God to bless us. The second reading describes the greatest blessing we’ve received: our adoption by God the Father, who has made available to us every blessing under the heavens and in heaven.

The people who heard the testimony of the shepherds in the Gospel reading were amazed. How often are you amazed by the Lord? Awe comes from recognizing the presence of Jesus in everything we see, do, hear, etc. With Jesus, we’re even blessed in situations that feel like curses, because he is guiding us through it.

To experience this, we have to keep our eyes on Jesus at all times. Look past the problems: There is the victorious Jesus already working on your behalf! He was born for your sake and gave up his life for you; of course he is also doing everything else that will provide God’s goodness to you!

Look past your emotional reactions to hardships: There is the peace of Christ! It’s available when you decide to trust in the love and the wisdom of Christ.

Look past the person who is sinning against you: There is Jesus comforting you! He is trying to kiss your wounds and heal your heart. He speaks to you through scripture, through Holy Mass, through perhaps a counselor, and many other ways. This is available when you choose to forgive.

In every situation, keep your eyes on Jesus so that you can see his hand reaching toward you, offering to bless you.

We can learn from Mary how to look past the obvious and see God’s hidden blessings. When Mary looked at the shepherds, did she see scruffy, stinky, unkempt strangers barging in? Of course not. She saw numerous blessings.

Look at the scruffy people in your own life – through Mary’s eyes. How many blessings do you see?

Mary the Mother of God our Savior is also our Mother now, and she wants to be part of your life to show you the countless blessings that come from knowing her Son: blessings that await you as you follow Jesus, and blessings you already have because Jesus is at your side right now. Ask for Mary’s help in keeping your focus on Jesus throughout the new year.

Questions for Personal Reflection:
Count your blessings. Make a list of everything that’s good in your life, including past blessings that give you warm, happy memories. The Lord has done great things for you. How does this reassure you today? What will you do this year to become more aware of God’s blessings?

Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Name the blessings of the Christmas Season. In what ways has Mary revealed Jesus to you?

© 2011 by Terry A. Modica


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