Thursday, January 1, 2009

The beginning of a new year

Our wish for you this first day and each day of 2009 is found in the FIRST READING for today (Numbers 6:22-27):

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.

Mary, Mother of God
Thursday, 1st January, 2009

For many of us, the beginning of a new year means making a list of resolutions. But did you know that God also has a New Year’s resolution? His resolution is to bless you! His resolution is to transform your life as you embrace his vision for you.

We spend so much of our Christian lives thinking about what we are supposed to do for God. But what about all the things that God intends to do for us? And what better example of the generosity and kindness of God can we have for this disposition than the Virgin Mary? Before she was even conceived, Mary was marked out by God to be the mother of his Son. From the moment of her conception, the Lord blessed her and kept her, preserving her from the stain of original sin. She did nothing to earn such a blessing. It was bestowed upon her by a loving, generous God.

What about you? Are you spending today thinking only of the ways you are going to change your life? Don’t limit yourself! Don’t limit God! He sees you as precious and unique. He rejoices over you and wants the best for you in all things. He is determined to stand up for you and intervene in your life. Perhaps today, as a new year begins, you can take some time to recall all the ways God has blessed you in the past and then tell him that you want to receive his gifts this year as well.

No matter what you face this year, trust that God can give you his peace. Believe that his face is always shining on you. Then when challenges arise, just turn your face to him, and you will know his strength and his presence. God has an amazing year in store for you! So be like Mary, and stay close to him. Let nothing block his flow of blessings!

Note: for more information about the "Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God," see