Honoring Mary

Luke 2: 16-21

Num 6: 22-27/ Psa 67 / Gal 4:4-7

But Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
(Luke 2:19)

Lord, on this first day of the year,

We honor Mary, our mother;

May her example draw us near

To You, our most loving Father.

So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in a manger. When they saw this, they made known the saying which had been told them about this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb (Luke 2:16-21).

Reflection

In today’s Gospel of Luke, Mary, the mother of Jesus took the time to reflect on the strange events surrounding her Son’s birth. It had not been easy for her, traveling from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, at a time when she was about to give birth. All the inns were fully booked, forcing them to take shelter in a cave, fit only for horses and cattle. But this humble and strong lady took it all in stride, happy in the thought that despite all the miserable conditions she was being subjected to, she was the mother of the Messiah, the Lord and Savior of all mankind. Sure enough, her confidence was confirmed by shepherds who came to give homage to her Son. They told her about the hordes of angels who had proclaimed His birth. Soon after, magi from far-off lands would also pay them a visit, bearing gifts fit only for a king.

Another year has just begun, and it’s time to look forward to a better future filled with more confidence. The year past had been as unpredictable and erratic as the leader of the country, and as unforgiving in natural and man-made disasters as the killings of suspected enemies of the state. Although the economy hardly reflected a hopeless situation, thanks to the billions of dollars remitted by our overseas workers and the employment provided by call centers, civil unrest, crime, and corruption in government persisted unabated. The year even ended with two destructive typhoons and a huge fire, which all together pained us with hundreds of deaths. Gratefully, our strong faith as a Christian nation has kept our collective spirits strong. As Catholics, we are fortunate to have Mary as our model of faith and perseverance. She accepted without doubt the words of the angel during the Annunciation, just as she never wavered in the trials of Calvary. Blessed Pope John Paul II once said that we must be like the Mother of God, always reflecting in our hearts to be grateful for all past events, whether ill or fortunate; to live the present with exuberance (“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord”); and to look forward to the future with hope and confidence. And why not, indeed, when we believe that we have a loving Father in heaven, and a Mother who will intercede for us in our times of need?

May the year 2018 be free from all disasters, and marked by worldwide peace and prosperity for all of us. May it be full of love and compassion, understanding and mercy. . . HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Father, as we plan our New Year’s resolutions today, we ask for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, and for the intercession of our Mother Mary, our ideal of faith. Amen.

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