As we focus on Mary, Mother of God, who gave birth to the King of Heaven and earth, let us also focus on the beginning of a new calendar year, asking the Lord to be gracious and bless us. We need God’s blessings because we know that every beginning can bring questions like, is it possible to make it to the end? Is it possible to accomplish the goals and resolutions for this new year? Is there enough strength and resources to carry through? These and many other questions may be filling our minds, but the good news is that we are not alone. We have a spiritual mother and our brother Jesus who understands our plans, worries, joys, and hopes as we begin the new year.

The word made man and born of the virgin Mary became a blessing to us, and now we are heirs of God’s promises, St. Paul puts it in the second reading. Jesus, who became like us, yet he is God, understands our worries, joys, fears, and hopes for this year. He is our blessing, and Mary, who shared her tender sweetness with her son Jesus, will show the same tender sweetness to us. Hence, we are not alone but with Jesus Christ and our spiritual Mother carrying our joys, worries, fears, and hopes.

Let us begin the new calendar year with openness to the divine like Shepherds, knowing Mary’s Son is our Lord and Shepherd who understands our future. Let us hear Mary often telling us to do what her son tells us.

Joy and Peace