Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
As we begin this first day of 2011, we celebrate Mary, Virgin Mother of God,the woman who gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God, Word made flesh,conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit! An awesome blessing to God’s long awaited people and to each of us today!
As we all contemplate the abundance of God’s blessings this day… and each and every day of our lives, let us take time to reflect on
the blessings the Church gives us in today’s readings.
From the Book of Numbers, the Lord tells Moses how to speak to Aaron and his sons, telling them how to evoke God’s name so that God will bless them, their children… throughout the ages to come and down to us… and to your children and children’s children.
Today’s Psalm response echoes the first reading. Reflect for a moment: Where do you seek God’s face to gaze upon you, your family, your community…and seek God to bless…in his mercy today?
Paul, in our second reading to the Galatians, calls us to again ponder this great mystery…this great gift…that God so loved us…sent his son, born of a woman…so that WE might receive adoption as God’s son-daughters. We are no longer slaves but heirs to all our Father’s love and gifts. Throughout this reading, we see who we, you and I, really are. No wonder we say Thank you God!
Today’s Gospel is so familiar, we could take it for granted! We see the scene in our churches, on Christmas cards, in our homes…
It is the familiar story of the shepherds who hear the story from the angels…go in haste to Bethlehem and find Mary and Joseph
with the infant lying in the manger. When they say this, they make known the message that had been told about this child. And all who heard were amazed at what had been told to them by the shepherds.
After pondering this familiar story, let’s go forward in Luke 11: 27-28. Jesus tells us today. Like these shepherds who are blessed, who are his disciples: "Blessed are they who hear the word of God and act on it"!
We might ask ourselves as we ponder these readings: What did I hear? How and where do I act on it"
May this new year be filled with God’s abundant blessings and peace for you, your loved ones and all our brothers and sisters in Jesus, the Christ. And all who read and ponder these readings today, let us all pray for one another
Sr. Marcella Fabing, CSJ, is a former staff member of Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.