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January 1, 2023 – Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God (Cycle A, Yr. I)

Community Word: The Father’s love makes us joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Theme: We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ when we keep Him deeply in our hearts, like Mary
Promise: “…they invoke my name…and I will bless them.” (Num 6:27)
As we start the New Year, the Church honors Mary as the Holy Mother of God, reminding us of the very important role of the Blessed Mother in the salvation of mankind. With humble acceptance, Mary submitted herself to the will of God and quietly fulfilled her role as the mother of Jesus, our Redeemer.
In the gospel of Luke, she kept everything in her heart about what the angel told the shepherds about the Child. As she guided Jesus growing up, she just reflected on her role as the mother of the Savior of the world, knowing that the events that happened in her life were overwhelming and beyond simple comprehension. But as a mother, she took care of Jesus and taught him all things that he needed to know about faith and good values while growing up. She stayed with Jesus until the very end of his human life; in fact, Mary was Jesus’ first follower. In turn, Jesus honored her as our mother and gave her to us at the point of our redemption on the cross through John, the Beloved – “…he said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home,” (Jn 19:27).
Because Mary said ‘yes’ to God, we are now able to experience His great love through Christ, who became human so that we might be His adopted sons and daughters. This is expressed in our Community Word for January – The Father’s love makes us joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ. St. Paul affirms this through his letter to the Galatians, “As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts… So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God,” (Gal 4: 6-7).
We should express our gratitude to our Blessed Mother, who reflected in her heart as God’s plan unfolded in her life; we too should imitate her. By meditating on God’s word and with prayers, we are guided to discern how the Lord reveals to us His designs and plans for our life, to journey in faith and appreciate the daily revelation of His miracles, blessings and graces. Our Mother Mary did not only say ‘yes’ to the Lord once, but she continually said ‘yes’ and pondered all these things in her heart. And through her, we will be led to ponder upon her Son, Jesus, for whom she gave herself to be obedient and become the handmaid of the Lord. Our theme for this Sunday reminds us – We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ when we keep Him deeply in our heart.
Keeping our Lord Jesus deeply in our heart means that our relationship with Jesus should be genuine, unconditional, active, trusting, humble, obedient and grateful. He wants us to long for His presence so that He may forgive, heal and restore us; to teach us the right way to live so that we may live in peace with Him, others and ourselves; to persevere in prayer and spread His Gospel of love; to refresh our commitment to serve and evangelize despite the uncertainties of this life. These and many more are what we can do to keep Him fully alive in our heart, in our mind, body and spirit.
As we start the New Year, let us sincerely resolve to always give the Lord our joyful ‘yes’ in whatever we are tasked to do. As the psalmist reminds us, God longs to bless us in His love and mercy. Let us allow Jesus to be alive in us, be more present in our world and especially in our BLD Community. In this way, we may reap His wonderful promise, “….they invoke my name…and I will bless them,” (Num 6: 27).
Father God, the obedience of our Blessed Mother enabled You to give us the greatest gift through Your Son, Jesus, our Emmanuel. Like Jesus and Mama Mary, allow us to always accept Your calling and plans for us, to be obedient in doing your will, especially that of bringing Jesus to those who need Him in their life, in spite of many challenges and, sometimes, questions in our heart. Bless us, keep us, shine Your face upon us and grant us Your peace as we start a new year. Make us instruments to make our world a better place, as we bring a loving awareness of Your presence to our brothers and sisters. To Jesus, through Mary. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. What were/ are the situations where I recognize God’s direction or plan for my life? How do I respond to them?
  2. What transformative resolutions will I make and how do I ensure I fulfil them in the coming year?
    This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
    January 1, 2023 (Sun) – Nm 6:22-27/ Ps 67:2, 3, 5, 6/ Ga 4:4-7/ Lk 2:16-21
    January 2, 2023 (Mon) – 1 Jn 2:22-28/ Ps 98:1-4/ Jn 1:19-28
    January 3, 2023 (Tue) – 1 Jn 2:29-3:6/ Ps 98:1, 3-6/ Jn 1:29-34
    January 4, 2023 (Wed) – 1 Jn 3:7-10/ Ps 98:1, 7-9/Jn 1:35-42
    January 5, 2023 (Thurs) – 1 Jn 3:11-21/ Ps 100:1-5/ Jn 1:43-51
    January 6, 2023 (Fri) – 1 Jn 5:5-13/ Ps 147:12-15, 19, 20/ Mk 1:7-11
    January 7, 2023 (Sat) – 1 Jn 5:14-21/ Ps 149:1-6, 9/ Jn 2:1-11
    “Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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