Luke 2:16-21I would like to see "blessings" in the first reading to reflect Mary as "Mother of God". This also gives inspiration to us to face the New Year with joy and hope.
Let's be inspired by the word "blessings"as we face the New Year. Mary too is "blessed among women" for being the Mother of God. Let's reflect on the benediction prayer in the first reading as inspiration to enter the New Year as also to venerate Mary, mother of God.
The first in the Book of Numbers is the sentence "May the Lord bless you and keep you." Blessings have various meanings. It may mean "barak" meaning "to kneel" before God in total adoration to Him who provides for all our needs. Mary's "Magnificat"reflects her total dedication to God as her spirit rejoices in God her Saviour.
The second phrase is "May he let his face shine upon you." Mary is totally immersed in the mystery before her, the loving Son who whether sleeping or awake, looks back at her with tender, loving eyes. A second meaning of blessing is "esher" or "happiness". One cannot fathom the feeling of the beatific vision. But this cannot be possible if we don't make efforts to strengthen our faith in God enough to see his divine face shining upon us to guide us each moment of our lives.
The third phrase is "May he lift his countenance upon you and give you peace." Usually, when God lifts is face, he passes judgement of life or death. But with this assuring presence, he brings peace. Peace is a process of becoming, a state of total health and well-being. Peace can only be attained if we work for social justice and social change. Working for justice is an integral component in the preaching of the Good News. The third aspect of blessing is "eulogeo" or a kindness. Mary lived a life of kindness, service, and compassion, and today, she never fails to pray for us still.
Facing the New Year filled with blessings is our elusive dream. Only a year dedicated to God is a blessed year.