Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. New Year
It’s New Year. By God’s grace we have the blessing of seeing the light of the new year. What else can we do other than say thank you to God? On this same day, we celebrate the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. We recognise her role as mother of the son of God. And still more, this New Year’s Day is the World Day of Peace. We pray for peace and make firm resolution to be peacemakers throughout this new year.
Bible Readings Numbers 6: 22–27 Galatians 4: 4–7 Luke 2: 16–21
Mary a model of depth
Celebrating Mary, Mother of God at the beginning of the year is like initiating us to sing in tune throughout this year which we begin. Mary inspires us with the disposition we need in order to live in faith and trust in God. Mary lived her faith in God with a certain depth. She “…treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” She knew how to savour and cherish the events of her life as places of encounter with God. To live fruitfully the grace of this new year that the Lord gives us we too ought to learn to ponder over the events of our life.
We live in the world that seems to be moving in a fast-forward mode. Every minute we are bombarded with pieces of information of what’s happening around the globe. Hardly do we find time to masticate in order to draw from them nourishing nutrients. And if we can’t break them down we can’t store them well either. The depth of Mary’s faith in God lies in her capacity to listen and to ponder over the great deeds of the Lord in her life. We pray that we too may be able to live this year with depth in order to be aware of the guiding hand of God who is ever present in our lives, even during those moments when things may not seem that bright for us.
What do we say at New Year?
When a child is given something often the mother will ask him: “what do you say?” And the child remembers it’s time to say thank you. But we, as adults, do we sincerely say “thank you” outside the need to show politeness?
At this time of the year we are certainly busy sending greetings to friends near and far. And if we forget one, we feel bad and still we make some effort to send them some belated message with a word of apology. Who has remembered to write God a little card? Do we even remember that we forgot to send him a word? It’s not too late.
This is also time to do some evaluation. The end of the year is appropriate time to reflect on how we have lived the past year but also a time to plan for the new year. Possibly, there are certain achievements we made that make us proud of ourselves but there are also certain issues we remember with regret. The new year is the grace period the Lord gives us to turn the page. So we can plan to improve certain aspects of life this year. It doesn’t matter if at the end of the year we discover that we didn’t live up to those resolutions. Our intention and effort to give an orientation for better life is already an achievement.
But no idea what this new year will bring
Beginning a new year is an adventure for we don’t know what the year has in store for us. Such feeling of uncertainty can be quite daunting. Certainly there will be moments of joy but we know too well that life isn’t that smooth. There will be also moments doubt and discouragement. What should we do?
We need to be aware that we are not alone. God has become one of us; so he will walk along with us through this year. And Marie his mother, our mother too, will also accompany us. Isn’t that consoling to know that we are beginning an adventure with God? Yet, that does not absolve us from playing our part.
Firm resolve for peace
On 1st January dedicated as World Day of Peace, as part of our resolutions, we ought to commit ourselves by firm resolve to be peacemakers. Pope Francis invites us to fight violence by non-violence and evil with good. We construct a peaceful world by rejecting from our lives every gesture, language or action of violence. We ought to banish from our life the spirit of competition and vengeance so that we can seek sincerely the good of others even for those we may consider as enemies.
That’s why in an effort to construct a peaceful world, and as a gesture of reconciliation; if each person can pronounce a blessing on the other, no matter what kind of relationship that exists between them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
It may not be easy, and yet, constructing a peaceful world demands of us such daring effort.
I wish you a peaceful and prosperous New Year!
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