Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 64; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21
God instructs Moses to bless the people in his name. Using his words on this first day of the year 2021 I declare from the altar of God; this year the Lord will bless you and keep you! The Lord will make his face to shine upon you and you will shine to his glory! The Lord will be gracious to you and your household! This day I declare favour and peace upon you! This is your year! This is your season and you will shine in the name of Jesus.
Beloved, divine blessings are based on the receiver’s purity and faithfulness. In the Old Testaments the Israelites believed that for their sins God turned his face away from them. But when they return to him God uncovers his face and bless them. Beloved in Christ, holiness is a criterium for spiritual blessings. This year let us resolve to be holy and enjoy all his prophetic blessings. People claim that they say “Amen” to such prophetic blessings but in the course of the year they don’t seem to experience grace. Often times the problem is not the prayers but our dispostion for such divine manifestation. This year desire holiness, train yourself to be holy and you shall truly be blessed.
Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Mary the “Mother of God”. This tittle of Mary goes back to the third or fourth century, it was termed Theotokos in Greek which means “The God-bearer”. This is the first Marian dogma, it was based on the doctrine of Incarnation, as expressed by St. Paul in the second reading “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). The Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium” (“Light of the People”) calls Mary “Mother of God” 12 times. Beloved, if we believe that Jesus is God then we must believe that Mary is the Mother of God. Thus, we can trust her for intercession. In this new year 2021 if we must break new grounds spiritually let ask for her maternal intercession. Mary is always ready to intercede for us but often times we have not learnt the way of Marian prayers and devotion. Some of us stay a whole year without saying the Rosary personally. This new year is another opportunity to express sincere faith in Marian devotion. There is something about her that we are yet to discover and only those who devote themselves in prayer shall experience her manifestations. At Canna, those who ran to her for aid knew that no true son refuses the plea of his mother. Beloved try Marian devotion and you will not regret it.
Again, on this day the first day of the year the Church also celebrates the 54th World Day of Peace, a tradition established by Pope Paul VI and confirmed by Pope John Paul II. In his message for World Day of Peace 2021 Pope Francis calls us to “a culture of care as a path to peace.” God is the source of our vocation to care, Jesus exercised this ministry of care, there was a culture of care in the life of Jesus’ followers, care in the social teaching of the Church, care for our common good and essentially there can be no peace without a culture of care. Beloved, where there is no peace all we have and labour for are torn into pieces. Beloved, peace is one value the world sincerely needs. Today many people just need peace to be able to live a better life. Resolve today to be a peace maker. The bible says in James 3:18 that peace makers shall reap a harvest of righteousness. Matt. 5:9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Beloved, if we desire peace we can achieve it; but if we disregard peace we shall live to regret it. Mary Mother of Peace, pray for us!
HAPPY NEW YEAR