Friday, January 1, 2010  God has welcomed us and blessed us in so many ways this past year.

Homily, January 1, 2010

Fr. Ed Oen, C.PP.S.

One week ago, we celebrated the feast of the Birth of Jesus, Christmas. We sang our praises to God the Father for sending His Son to become one of us. Today is the Octave of Christmas. We continue to celebrate this great event – Jesus becoming one of us. It is also the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. It took four centuries for the Church to finally make this declaration – that Mary, indeed, was the mother of this person who was God and man; he had two natures, human and divine, and that she was the mother of this person and therefore, she was the mother of God. So, she has this prestigious title. Jesus was born from a mother like all the rest of us. We give Mary this special title, “Mother of God.”

Today’s’ Gospel tells us that Mary treasured all these events surrounding the birth of Jesus. She reflected on them in her heart. She reflected on the annunciation – how the angel Gabriel appeared to her and asked her to be the mother of the Messiah, Jesus. She reflected on visiting Elizabeth who was elderly and beyond the years of bearing children but here she was, to have a child. She also married Joseph and when the time of the census came, she and Joseph went to Bethlehem and there the child was born in a stable because there was no room in Bethlehem. She reflected on the appearance of angels and how they beckoned the shepherds to come visit the newborn Savior. 

Today is a day of reflection too for us. We reflect especially on that second reading where we are told that God loved us so much that He adopted us through baptism. We became members of God’s family – that we have become sons and daughters and brothers and sisters of Jesus. We become temples of the Holy Spirit. So we are a part of that great family. That is something for us to reflect on. God has welcomed us and blessed us in so many ways this past year. He has forgiven our sins. He has given us Jesus as food for our souls through Holy Communion. So today we reflect on God’s great love and concern for us. We look forward to the days of 2010. We know that God cares about us; no mater whether we stray or not, we know that God will be there for us. This great God of ours never gives up on us. Sometimes, we give up on ourselves. But that’s not God. God is wiling to change us, to find millions of ways for us to come back to Him. He never gives up.

 

We ask the Virgin Mary today to pray for us that we might remain faithful to her Son. She not only is the mother of Jesus – but she is our spiritual mother. We are brothers and sisters to Jesus; we have the same mother, Mary. So let us pray over and over again, those beautiful words at the end of the Hail Mary: “Hail Mary, full of grace, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” It’s important that we turn to the Virgin Mary; our church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We prayed the Memorarie today.  “Remember oh gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to your protection, or your interception, was left unaided.”  Our heavenly mother wants to draw us closer to her Son, Jesus. So let us pray over and over in this year of 2010 that the Virgin Mary will pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.

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