Sunday 01 January 2023 – MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – Mary, A Path to Blessings

World Day of Peace

1st Reading: Num 6:22-27

The Lord said to Moses: “Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites.  Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!  The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!  So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

2nd Reading: Gal 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”  So, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.

Gospel: Lk 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And 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, just as it had been told to them.  When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Mary, A Path to Blessings: Children tend to be very close to their mothers, and so a child is happy with a person who respects and treats its mother well. If such a person is looking for something from the child and invokes the name of the mother, the child will listen to the request and in one way or another grant that request. Mary is our path to God’s blessings because she is the mother of him who is the source of all blessings. Invoking the intercessions of Mary helps a person to get blessings from his Only Son who is the source of all blessings. Mary is ever ready to ask her Son to bless anybody who requests her to intercede for him/her. This is because she is the one who is closest to her Son the source of all blessings. Blessings bring happiness because it is a sign of God’s favors. That is why the shepherds after visiting the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, returned glorifying and praising God (Luke 2:20). They had received God’s favors and blessings. The shepherds who were regarded as the lowly members of the community, were happy after realizing that God singled them out as recipients of his favors and blessings. It was a sign for them that God has not abandoned them. Forgetting Mary in one’s life is denying oneself the best way to receive blessings from Jesus. Mary is the path to blessings and favors which come to humanity from God. The greatest favor is being made an adopted child of God through the birth of Jesus through Mary.

Prayer:  Holy Mary Mother of God, may you bring our prayers to your Son. Amen.


MARY MOTHER OF GOD AND MODEL OF PARENTHOOD: The Blessed Virgin Mary is rightly called Mother of God because she gave birth to the child Jesus who is true God and true man. Mary is not only the Mother of God, but a model of parenthood for all mothers. She faced many challenges in bringing up Jesus: she had no bed for the child, so she used a manger. The shepherds made known to the people the birth of the child, and people were amazed and talked a lot about her child. Mary, the good mother, “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). A good mother does not ignore what is said about her child. She keeps all things, reflects and tries to find out how she can make good use of the information, so as to bring out the best for her child.


FROM PONDERING TO WONDERING: New Year has dawned! “Well begun is half done.” The Church opens the year with the thought of our Blessed Virgin as the Mother of God. Mary is presented at Christmas as the one who pondered. She heard much that puzzled her. In the message of the shepherds, gifts of the Magi, and in the odd conversation with Joseph, they wondered about their child and what would happen to him. However, she did not leave her faith. She is a model of faith for today when faith leaves many questions. Pope Francis says in an interview: ‘In this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. Our life is not given to us like an opera libretto, in which all is written down; but it means going, walking, doing, searching, seeing.’  Like Mary, let us keep pondering about the word of God that we may continue to wonder about the works of God in our life.