Fr Vincent's reflections on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of GOD
A new year and a new opportunity to be blessed by God. We need to check our attitude if we are going to receive the blessings of God in this new year: trust, service, patience – are we ready?
Watch the video: Fr Vincent's reflections on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of GOD
Read the text:
Mary, Mother of God 2021
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.
The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. R/. And with your spirit.
On this Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, 2021, let us pray:
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray,
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. R/. Amen.
As always, if you don’t have your Bible with you, please pause this video to retrieve your Bible so you can follow along.
The Gospel today is Luke 2:16-21.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.
The Gospel of the Lord. R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Happy New Year! At least, that is what each of us is praying, isn’t it? We all want to trust that 2021 will be a happier year than 2020. Well, much of what can make it a “happy new year,” really is under our own control, whether you believe that or not. And it has everything to do with attitude. In her wisdom, the Church gives us the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God (Jesus) for our January 1st, New Year’s Day celebration and prayers. And it is her attitude we need if 2021 will be the year it needs to be to turn our world and our lives around.
Mary’s attitude can be seen first as trust in God. She understood better than we seem to that God is in charge and He can be trusted. This means we surrender our will to the will of God. Mary accepted the message of the angel Gabriel, that she would bear the savior or humanity, even if she herself planned never to have children. Mary didn’t understand what Jesus would be like or what he would do, but she believed that God’s will was sufficiently good to accept without argument. We are always ready to argue with God, aren’t we, because we still believe our plans should take priority over God’s plans. Until we develop an attitude of trust, we will always find reasons to complain, and never become the happy people God wants us to be.
Next, Mary’s attitude involved a willingness to serve, not to be served or taken care of. Mary expected nothing from God but the opportunity to be his handmaid, to serve his plan for the world. She did not expect to sit back and let God do the work and she reap the benefits. So many human beings expect to get what they want from God but rarely show a willingness to serve God or their neighbors. If you and I live that way, expecting to receive whatever we ask of God without lifting a finger to do for God, then our attitude sets us up for disappointment and a refusal to work for the good of others. Once more we block our own happiness.
Finally, Mary’s attitude includes patience. She didn’t need all the answers at once. Mary understood her time and God’s time were two different realities. And she was happy to let things unfold in God’s time. We do very poorly waiting on God. Our world wants things faster and faster, and we apply that to our relationship with God. I can’t count the number of times I hear something like, “I don’t have time for God.” And I think to myself, “you wouldn’t have any time if it wasn’t for God!” To live on God’s timetable doesn’t mean that we live slowly, but that we don’t need to be the one who decides what is the correct time for things to happen. God can work fast or slow, but He always works correctly. Patience with God’s plan is the sure way to real happiness.
So, as we begin 2021, I pray for your trust, your service to God, and your patience. If you work on these attitudes, I am confident you will have a Happy New Year!
The Lord be with you. R/. And with your spirit.
And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever. R/. Amen.