How appropriate that on the first day of every year we honor Mary, the Mother of God. It was her willing obedience to God’s plan that brought about the Incarnation. Today is also the World Day of Peace and so we look to Mary, the Queen of Peace, as our model and inspiration for holding peace in our hearts, our communities, and in our world.
On this first day of a new year, we look forward to new beginnings, hopeful this year will be better than the last. The chosen people were looking forward to a new beginning in the promised land when Aaron and his sons called down God’s blessings, grace, and peace upon them. The shepherds realized a new beginning was taking place in Bethlehem and hurried to see the newborn king. Mary embraced the new beginnings her life had taken after she was visited by the angel. May we look forward to our new beginning, assured that we have a God with us who chose to become incarnate in the world, who chose to share our humanity, and to redeem us from our sin.
Luke says that Mary reflected on the shepherd’s visit and their message. Reflection is a habit we seem to have lost in today’s world. Because we are constantly connected to the whole world and to everyone we know, we have developed a sense of immediacy that makes everything we learned more than a few minutes ago old news. We check for updates on our phones 24/7, obsessively watch for likes and retweets, look to see what our friends and family are doing. How often do we take the time to power down our electronics and spend some time in prayerful reflection? New Year’s is a time for resolutions. Sounds like this would be a good one for 2023. Let’s stop wasting time, and use this, the year of grace, our best time spent.
On behalf of Fr. George, Carl, Dale, Donna, Linda, Mary Jo, Steve, and myself, we pray the blessing of Aaron in our First Reading and on the first day of this New Year: “The Lord bless you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.”
Love, Peace, Joy,
Also, a big thank you to all those who sent cards and gifts to the staff. Your prayers, support, and friendship is greatly appreciated.