For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010117.cfm
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, The Mother of God. Our Gospel reading this Sunday tells the story of the visit of the shepherds to the new born Christ child. We are told that after the shepherds arrived in Bethlehem “they made known the message that had been told them about this child. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” In this, I think Mary provides a good model for us. Clearly she knew that the birth of her Son was the work of God. But at that point she didn’t have a clear understanding of what his birth meant and what his life would entail. She was not angry about this. She did not complain about it. She didn’t worry about it. Instead she took in all the events surrounding his birth and reflected on them in her heart.
As we begin a new year with all its possibilities and uncertainties, I think it would be good for us to follow Mary’s example, to take in all that this new year will hold for us, to reflect on it and pray about it, and to trust that in God’s good time their meaning and purpose will become known to us.
In our first reading this Sunday from the Book of Numbers the Lord tells Moses to teach a blessing to Aaron and his sons that they might bless the Israelites. The blessing is simple, yet eloquent: “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!” This prayer of blessing reminds us of God’s graciousness and love, which are poured out on all believers.
Our second reading this weekend is from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians. In it Paul reminds the Galatians that because of Jesus Christ we are all children of God. “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, though God.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- Has there been a time when initially you didn’t understand something, but through prayer and reflection came to understand it over time?
- When have you experienced God’s graciousness and love in your life?
- Is it easy to see yourself as a son/daughter of God?