Saturday, December 24, 2005

New Year 2006!

SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Readings: Nm 6, 22-27 / Gal. 4, 4-7 / Lk. 2: 16 - 21

"So, they came hurriedly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby lying in the manger. On seeing this they related what they had been told about the child and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.

As for Mary, she treasured all these messages and continually pondered over them."

What are we looking for at the dawn of the new year? How can we shift from desiring for prosperity and wealth to something more profound, much greater, for ourselves, our country, and for the rest of humanity?

Reflection:

The picture of the BELEN is always a sign of contradiction for those who are thinking in terms of more prosperity, power, and influence for the new year. Jesus chose this backdrop for Christmas so that we who are celebrating it annually may ground ourselves in its real essense.

The components are: the resting place for animals, the manger filled with straw, the presence of a lowly couple rejected by the innkeepers, and the visiting shepherds. And at the center is a small, defenseless Son of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes while the angels sing, "Gloria in excelsis Deo!"

Notice too that sense of wonder and praise among the shepherds, as happiness engulfs them upon seeing the child, and Mary pondering all these things in her heart, for the reality of salvation is present in this humble scene, and God is here to bless the whole world and lead everyone back to Himself.

Could it be that this same picture can guide us to face the new year and the next - if people would rid themselves of any selfishness and greed and just open their hearts to the Divine and to others in total generosity? Otherwise, we shall be experiencing a worsening poverty year after year and the future becoming bleaker each passing year.

Could this picture guide each of us to focus our efforts to multiplying what emanates from the Christ Child, with all His love being poured unto us? Imagine every family member, parents and children, oriented to helping everyone, especially the poor, so that no one would be found wanting. Imagine a world where generosity abounds and where selfless love is the true basis for being.

We have so much to do then. Let the new year not be a time for self-development, self-resolution, and even self-survival, but a time of self-giving.

Join Mary as she ponders all these things in her heart, that in this lowly scene, salvation for all can still be totally possible.

2 comments:

  1. Today, New Year’s Day, is the most appropriate day to celebrate the Motherhood of Mary. There must be a reason for us to reflect on why the Church assigns this particular day for the celebration of the Motherhood of Mary.

    If we go back to the event of ‘December 25’ and even during the annunciation and acceptance of Mary of the message of the Archangel Gabriel, something terrible happened to change the course of the history of mankind. When Mary said “yes, I would be the Mother of Jesus,” and then gave birth to the Child Jesus, there started the unfolding of the most dramatic new beginning of our life, a life from the shadow of death and darkness of sin to a life under the light of grace and the power of redemption. Thus, in the Cebuano song “bag-ong tuig, bag-ong kinabuhi,” there are some truths in it as we usher in the year 2006.

    It is in this regard that we should be filled with much optimism as we look forward to what the year 2006 has in store for us. The human condition is no longer the same. It is already a redeemed condition in such a way that despite all the things that can go awry in the vicissitudes of life, we come to start believing this: love is stronger than hatred; good is stronger than evil; and life is stronger than death. And this enables us to accept whatever frustrating and disappointing events we have gone through last year 2005. There is Mary our Mother. There is Jesus our Savior. With them, we get to stand up and have courage to continue living and to continue hoping. Happy new year!

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  2. Anonymous4:14 AM

    As I bid farewell to another great year and begin to welcome 2006,I give thanks and praises to YOU,Our Almighty God the Father for all the wonderful blessings that YOU so generously bestowed on me and my family.Thank YOU for our great life,our good health and for giving us another year of opportunity.I hope and pray that this coming year would be filled with yet another great blessings of love,peace and happiness for everyone.
    I pray for a much closer relationship with YOU,as we grow more spiritually,for stronger family ties bet. husband and wife and children,parents and siblings,relatives from near and far,more meaningful friendships,establishing new ones and mending broken ones.
    I pray for economic recovery,peace and economic growth for our dear country and fellowmen and for world peace.
    Most importantly,I pray that YOU open up our hearts and guide us the way and enlighten our minds to the real meaning of selfless giving,the sharing of our blessings with others esp. those who are less fortunate than us-the homeless,the sick,the hopeless,the weak,those who suffer injustice,those who are fighting in wars for our peace and those who really needed us the most.
    May we learn to take that step in making this world a much better place to live in so that one day there will be hope that this world will be a world not of poverty and injustice or of crime and desperation but a world of hope,love,peace,justice and happiness.
    I wish everyone all the love,peace and happiness for the coming New Year.
    God bless us all!Deah

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