January 1 - The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God: The Blessing

January 31st, 2018

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First Reading  Numbers 6:22-27
God gives a blessing for the Israelites. 

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 67:2-3,5,6,8
All the people sing praises to God. 

Second Reading   Galatians 4:4-7
God sent his Son to make us children of God.   

Gospel Reading
Luke 2:16-21  

In the first reading we find the ancient prayer of blessing which God gave to Moses to hand on to Aaron and his sons: “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” (Num 6:24-25). There is no more meaningful time than the beginning of a new year to hear these words of blessing: they will accompany our journey through the year opening up before us. The Mother of God is the first of the blessed, and it is she who bears the blessing; she is the woman who received Jesus into herself and brought him forth for the whole human family. Thus we can say that the message of hope contained in this blessing was fully realized in Mary. This was the very experience that the shepherds of Bethlehem too had, who reappear in today’s Gospel. They had the experience of standing in God’s presence and seeing the Blessing. Let us ask the grace to behold this Blessing, to receive that blessing and to be a blessing to all whom we meet.