Psalms 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
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.
Good News Reflection: Reflecting on our blessings
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Today is a very special opportunity to consecrate the new year to the Mother of Christ. This opens us to her protection and help. She will join us in asking God to make this a year of many blessings.
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. She knows you and wants 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.
For a WordByte on why we call Mary the “Mother of God”, go to “Was Mary the Mother of God?“.
Praised be to You, my Lord, because You gave us Mary as a model of humility and the contemplation of Your wonders so that we gain humble hearts. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica