Let Us Walk And Work With God This Year!
Readings: 1st: Nu 6, 22-27: Ps 66, 2-6; 2nd: Gal 4, 4-7: Gos: Luke 2, 16-21
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
“Mary, the all holy ever virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit… For the first time in the plan of salvation…the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men… (CCC 721).
Today is the first day of a new year. We give thanks to God for the opportunity of seeing this new year and for his many favors. Today also, we celebrate the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Both celebrations are sources of great blessings for which we must thank God.
First, today’s solemnity is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood. Importantly, it highlights the role she played in the history of our salvation. The title “Mother of God” is from the Greek “Theotokos.” This solemnity could be traced to the Council of Ephesus (431).
In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast to the entire church. Finally, in 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the liturgical calendar, and replaced it with the feast of the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.”
Hence, our second reading reminds us of how God took flesh in the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most importantly, this reading reminds us of our adoptive sonship. Through adoption, we are children of the same Father with Christ. Also, through adoption, we are children of Mary with Christ. So, as children of the same Mother, we are born of the same spirit.
Today’s gospel reading simply reminds us that Mary played her maternal role towards her son Jesus Christ very well. She was obedient and fulfilled all that she was told to do. Not only did she give birth to Christ, like every good, Mary nurtured Christ well. Hence, she is the epitome and model for all mothers.
New Year offers us new opportunities, ideas, resolutions, plans and a new direction. It is a sign of regeneration and new hope. A young man was asked: “What is your plan this year? He simply replied: “This year, I will not walk alone again. My plan is to walk and work with God. I know he will not let me fail.”
Many times, we make New Year resolutions. Unfortunately, we are unable to fulfill them. Perhaps, we were not meticulous enough to keep them. Perhaps, circumstances were out of our control, and our plan changed. Perhaps, we did not consult God while making our plan. Yes, often times, we make plans and take decisions without consulting God.
This year, let us make God part of our plan: “Commit your work to the Lord, and he will establish your plans (Pr 16, 3). This year, we must develop the resilient spirit of Moses who insisted to God: “If you do not personally go with us, do not make us leave this place… (Ex 33, 15). Like Enoch (Gen 5, 24), we must learn to walk and work with God in order to achieve our plans. He is ready to walk and work with us.
Hence, our first reading today is a very important blessing. Through this blessing, God has equipped us for the journey ahead this year. Through it, God has demonstrated his willingness to protect and work with us this year. So, all we need is to simply say, Amen!
So, as we move into this year, let us ask the Mother of God, to help us remain focused: “Oh Holy Mary, Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, oh glorious and blessed virgin, Amen. Happy New Year to you all!
Peace be with You!