HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD (1/1/2022)

HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD (1/1/2022)

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 2022 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 because of their sins God turned his face away from them. But when they returned to God; He uncovers his face and bless them. Beloved in Christ, holiness is a criterion for spiritual blessings. This year let us resolve to be holy and enjoy all the prophetic blessings in the first reading. Some persons claim that they say “Amen” to this 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 disposition 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 title 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. And so we can trust her for intercession. In this New Year 2022, 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 devotions. 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 many Christians are yet to discover; 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 petition of his mother. Beloved try Marian devotion and you will not regret it.

Lastly, on this day the first day of the year the Church also celebrates the 55th 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 2022 “Dialogue Between Generations, Education and Work:Tools for Building Lasting Peace”  Pope Francis calls us – government leaders and to all those charged with political and social responsibilities, priests and pastoral workers, and to all men and women of good will to walk together with courage and creativity on the path of intergenerational dialogue, education, and work in order to ensure peace.

Peace is not one man’s business but everybody’s business. If there is no peace, all we have and labour for will be torn into pieces. Peace is one investment 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 God, pray for us; Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was ordained October 20th, 2018. He offers his daily homilies, talks and articles that bother on, faith, theology, morals and many other burning issues in religion and politics. Fr. Daniel writes poems, inspirational quotes and clips.

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