Mission Society of the Philippines



Lk 2:16-21

IN OUR TIME the beginning of a new year has been marked with so much noise. The standard way of marking the end of the old and the beginning of the new year all over the world is for people to set off fireworks and an explosion of noise.  Noisemaking, as well as fireworks, on the eve of New Year is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks and use them to spectacular effect in their New Year's celebrations.

The Church has a different way of celebrating the beginning of the New Year. On the one hand, it reflects on the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and on the other hand, it celebrates the World Day of Peace.

Today’s Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, is a very appropriate way to begin a new year. Mary is the Mother of Christ, and she is also the Mother of the Church. Yes, Mary is Mother, but a Virgin Mother. Mary is the Spiritual Mother of all humanity, because Jesus on the Cross shed his blood for all of us and from the Cross, He entrusted us all to her maternal care. This celebration reminds us that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, is also our Heavenly Mother.

In the gospel, St Luke tells us that the shepherds, who saw Christ in a manger, became the first proclaimers of the Word or the Good News.  And the people who heard it were amazed by the news. And Mother Mary “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart”. Mary has a good attitude towards the Word of God. When she heard the Word from the Angel Gabriel, she said her ‘yes’ to God. As the gospel suggests, Mary reflects on the Word of God.

Mary, as our Mother teaches us the same. She listens to God, and she listens as well to her Son, the Word made flesh. Let us make the Word of God as our guide to day-to-day living, and as a light to our path.

Moreover, Mary, being our Mother, has compassion for us, her children. We can easily understand this because, in general, mothers are caring and loving towards their children. The majority of Catholics have a special devotion to Mary because of this belief that she can intercede with us in our prayers. The closeness of our relationship with Mary shows that we indeed venerate and treat her as our Mother.

But we are reminded that as we venerate the Blessed Mother Mary, we should also imitate her values. Devotion to her can be nothing and useless if it has no effect in our life. That is why we shall follow her in her way of love and obedience to God, as well as in listening and pondering on the Word of God.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!

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