Gospel for January 1, 2014, Wednesday
Mary, Mother of God
Ps 67:2–3, 5, 6, 8
May God bless us in his mercy.
1st Reading: Num 6:22–27
Then Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and say to them: This is how you shall bless the people of Israel; you shall say:
May Yahweh bless you and keep you!
May Yahweh let his face shine on you, and be gracious to you!
May Yahweh look kindly on you, and give you his peace!
In that way shall they put my name on the people of Israel and I will bless them.”
2nd Reading: Gal 4:4–7
But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son. He came, born of woman, and subject to the law, in order to redeem the subjects of the law, that we might receive adoption, as children of God. And because you are children, God has sent into your hearts, the spirit of his Son, who cries out: Abba! that is, Father! You, yourself, are no longer a slave, but a son or daughter, and yours is the inheritance, by God’s grace.
Gospel: Lk 2:16–21
So they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough. On seeing him, they related what they had been told about the child; 18 and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.
As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the angels had told them.
On the eighth day, the circumcision of the baby had to be performed; he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Motherhood creates a sense of group spirit where anyone and everyone who knows that a child has been born somehow becomes part of the birthing process. Mary had only Joseph, the shepherds and the animals in the manger to witness the birth of her Son our Savior. Yet, these simple witnesses with no claim to power and honor never diminished the dignity of Mary becoming a mother to the Son of God. Her pre-eminent place among the creatures of God is assured. For she is a consistent witness to the elevation of the lowly through God’s mercy. The simple girl-woman from Nazareth, Joseph, the silent man of the Gospels, the unnamed shepherds and the animals in the manger were privileged to have the first glimpse of the Messiah. It was a blessed night indeed for the lowly hearts.
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