Sunday, December 31, 2017

Catholic Reflections 645 : Homily Mary Mother of God. Year B - 1st January 2018

Homily Mary Mother of God. Year B - 1st January 2018

First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm: Ps 66:2-3. 5. 6. 8. “May God bless us in his mercy.”
Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7
Gospel Acclamation: Hebrews 1:1-2
Gospel: Luke 2:16-21
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Mary Mother of God. Year B - 12/28/2017 by clicking this link here:  (EPISODE: 67 )
Homily Mary Mother of God. Year A - 1st January 2018

The Year of Our Lord 2018 is upon us. May God bless us all with a happy, healthy and grace-filled year.

speaking of blessings, it is really beautiful that today’s first reading features the oldest recorded blessing…  known as the Aaronic Blessing…. Moses was given this blessing to impart upon his brother Aaron and his descendants and we still use this blessing to this day….. 

It is also truly wonderful that at the very beginning of every new calendar year, we dedicate it to the care and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, who has been described rather fittingly as the “first and most perfect disciple.” Mary was always attentive to God’s word, and accepted it in her life and responded generously and without hesitation even at times when things seemed quite difficult to understand or to bear…. And Mary, the mother of God also suffered along with Christ, at Calvary becoming what is also fittingly called spiritual martyrdom standing at the foot of the cross… That is, surely feeling every moment of Christ’s pain….. (as only a mother could), and never leaving him…

We pray that Our Lord Jesus, through the constant prayer and intercession of the Mother of God, will bless and protect us and give success to our work, as we strive this year to be ever-more faithful disciples of Christ in our daily lives and actions.

It is wonderful at the start of each new year to give thanks to God for the many gifts and blessings we have received in the year just ended, and to give thanks in anticipation for the countless opportunities, graces and blessings that God will give us this coming year. It is a time for new starts and looking forward to how we can be the best disciples of the gospel that we can be.

Even though our church year actually started a month ago at the start of Advent, nevertheless, the start of the calendar year is still an important milestone.. Another year which we commit to the service of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
On that same thought…   2018 is not just another year…..   rather, it is another year “for” !!!   (For being humble servants in God’s Kingdom). 

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be,
In working, or in waiting,
Another year with Thee.

Another year of mercies,

Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of your face.

Another year of progress,

Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
your presence all the days.

Another year of service,

Of witness to your love,
Another year of training
For holier work above.

Another year is dawning,
Dear Master, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven
Another year for Thee.
                                             -[Francis Ridley Havergal (1874)]

Mary the Mother of God is a wonderful inspiration for us too. 

Mary’s prayers and her example assist us as we dedicate ourselves to help (in any way that God asks of us), to establish God’s kingdom in the places we live and work and socialise.

And for many of us, the new year’s eve is a wonderful chance to treasure all these things in our heart, to ponder everything that has happened to us this last year, and to prayerfully and quietly reflect on the year ending and the new one beginning.

We have so much for which to be grateful: All the people and events for which we are truly and deeply thankful; including our families, our friends, our brother and sister parishioners, our wider community, our nation: which is blessed with so many natural gifts and the gift of relative peace and freedom, and grateful too for the gift of our Church too; the gift of our faith, which makes us beloved daughters and sons of God.

In our New Year’s Masses, (dedicated to Mary the Mother of God), We present our discipleship and prayers to God…..

We offer up to God, all the good we have strived to do in the previous year. May God transform all our efforts for the good, for God’s own purposes.

And we offer up prayers for all our loved ones, friends, colleagues and parishioners, that God may hold them in the palm of his hand this coming year.

We think of our loved ones, friends and fellow parishioners who have passed away this last year past, and pray for all our departed loved ones, as we continue to commend them to the ongoing and eternal care of God. We trust that they are now enjoying the peace and reward of God’s eternal kingdom.

It is a good thing for us to make new year’s resolutions, knowing that only with God’s grace and guidance can these resolutions bear much fruit…

At the start of 2018 we pray that this is a year filled with grace and joy and peace. And, when we speak of a “happy new year,” we know that God’s idea of happiness is a fresh and challenging one. It is this TRUE happiness we are really seeking. It is God’s idea of happiness that we really desire.

“Look at Mary and Joseph kneeling before the manager. They must be tired. They have travelled 120 kilometres or so from Nazareth to Bethlehem on foot and on the jolting back of a donkey. They must be very hungry. They have not had a proper meal since they left Nazareth some three days ago. They must be cold in this damp cave, as the stable would likely have been. It must have been very humiliating for them to discover no room among their relatives in their ancestral home or at the Village Inn.

Yet in the midst of all of this, Mary and Joseph are the happiest people to walk the face of this earth. Here in Bethlehem, they are teaching us the amazing paradox that it is only when we lose ourselves in the love and service of Jesus that we find true happiness. A joy that no one can take from us. But how can we lose ourselves in the love and service of Jesus? Jesus has made it very simple,
“Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you do for me.”

So on this first day of the New Year let us ask for the grace to know Jesus more intimately, love him more and more fully… and follow him more closely”#…..So that this may be a truly joy-filled New Year according to God’s vision for the world.

It reminds me of times when things did not go to plan and alternative plans needed to be made and it initially cause confusion and frustration but when we look back they were some of the happiest, unexpected and blessed moments that we can even smile about later, even if it didn’t seem to be any cause for smiles at the time it was happening.

For the new year, beginning, we ask God to bless and make fruitful our words, our actions and our work, and help us to live (ever more fully), our witness to the good news…

May God bless us and keep us in faith, hope, love and health in this new year 2018 (saying that number seems so new…  so unusual.. it will take us a few weeks to get used to writing and ). May the beloved Mother of God, pray for us in good times and in times of trial or struggle and keep us in her tender care as we faithfully follow her and our beloved Lord into this new and wonderful year of possibilities.

Fr Paul W. Kelly
#Quote from Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.

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Mary Mother of God. Year B
(1st January, 2018)
(EPISODE: 67 )

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault,* through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Memorial Acclamation
We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

Virgin Mary I


Communion side. pwk: LH
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May he let his face shine upon you
and show you his mercy.
May he turn his countenance towards you
and give you his peace.
And may the blessing of Almighty God, 
the Father, and the Son,+ and the Holy Spirit, 
come down on you and remain with you forever.
Go forth, the Mass is ended.

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