Thursday, January 1, 2015

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, New Year, Thursday, January 1, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - Numbers 6:22-27
22 The Lord said to Moses: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:24 The Lord bless you and keep you! 25 The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! 26 The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! 27 So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

P S A L M - Psalm 67: 2-3, 5, 6, 8
R: May God bless us in his mercy.
1[2] May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. 2[3] So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation. (R) 4[5] May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide. (R) 5[6] May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you! 7[8] May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him! (R)

2ND READING - Galatians 4:4-7
Brothers and sisters: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, He has spoken to us through the Son.
Luke 2:16-21
16 The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. 19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. 21 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.


Our country literally welcomes the New Year with a bang, not a whimper; with explosions, not just illusions of mirth. We crack, not nuts, but crackers that are associated with fire of the noisy kind. We sing. We shout. We cry and create whatever noise we can produce. Nobody is poor on New Year’s Eve. Everyone — and I mean everyone — does not feel like he or she is wasting money on this almost insane concert of cacophony.

       Everyone is in the mood to splurge. Like God who splurged on love. He did not hesitate to pull all the stops on this grandiose concert, not of cacophony, but of harmony and grace. He did not hold on to something so great, something so noble, something so good for us — not for Him, but for humanity; not for the divinity that He voluntarily shed off by becoming man like us.

       Just last week, we celebrated that great act of humble loving. He was born for you and me. Today, we continue splurging, for we cannot allow ourselves to be so unmoved by this singular grace that we are faced with. So take out your pots and pans, your luces and fountains, your drums and your imaginary bugles. (Go easy on the mini bombs that can explode on your fingers!) But don’t hold back on the explosions of joy and profligate thanksgiving, “for a Son has been born for us; a Son given to us!”

       Mothers, in their subtle ways, sure know how to quietly rejoice. I am sure Mary was beyond merely joyful. She was exultant! She was generous beyond merely self-giving.

       We Filipinos might have gotten it wrong by engaging solely in this concert of cacophony. But I believe we do well in simply rejoicing and being exultant, and being profligate, as we celebrate with abandon. For today is no ordinary day. It begins the New Year, and we begin it in honor of her who gave it all for us.

       May God bless us in His mercy! Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How do you welcome the New Year? Is it with real joy and gratitude to God?
Thank You, Lord, for the New Year. May Your light and grace be upon us this year.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

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