New Year 2021

January 1, 2021

Mary, Mother of God –Solemnity

I Reading: Numbers 6:22-27, II Reading: Galatians 4:4-7, Gospel: Luke 2:16-21

By Fr. Arul Selvam, S.J

You will show me the path of Life;

In your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

I wish you all a Happy and a Peaceful New Year, 2021.  May the Lord bless you abundantly and keep you safe throughout the New Year. Today we celebrate the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. As we begin the New Year we honour Mother Mary because God honoured her by choosing her to be the Mother of our Saviour. We honour Mother Mary because she was blessed among women and full of grace (Lk 1:28, 45).

In today’s first reading we hear how God promises His blessings on His people. God assures His active presence in the lives of His people and keeps His protective hands over them. In today’s Gospel we hear how Jesus was born in real human conditions and how he completely identified himself with us. The shepherds find baby Jesus in a Manger, the Gospel says. The whole setting symbolizes God’s preferential option for the poor and the marginalized which paradoxically is the heart of human condition in which our Saviour was born.

Jesus’ birth is Good News to all people. The angels announced it to the shepherds. The shepherds told this story to all they met (Lk 2:16, 17). Today, like the shepherds in the Gospel we are invited to share this good news to others.

At the same time, the gospel reading tells us that Mother Mary treasured all she heard about her son and pondered over them. Perhaps like Mary we too are called to ponder over our experiences of the Lord so that the breadth, height and depth of the incarnate mystery maybe revealed to us. Pondering is also an act of gratitude. It enables us to move from the gifts to the giver of gifts. We can thus proclaim the Giver of all our gifts with an attitude of gratitude. Let us recall to our mind all the wonderful things that God has done to us and be grateful to God.

As we celebrate the feast of Mary the Mother of God, Mary who was called blessed among women, let us also aspire and pray for an attitude like that of Mary and with her intercession be blessed people. As Pope Francis in his general audience on December 2, 2020 said, “We should have the capacity to feel blessed and to bless. This is the source of Christian meekness”. As we begin another year, especially in this time of distress caused by COVID 19, let us continue to experience the blessings of the Lord and bless everyone by being a blessing to them.

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