Mary, the Mother of God • Today is New Year's Day. It is also the 8th day in the Octave of Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Christmas is too great a feast day to fit into a single day. With Mary we "ponder these things in our hearts." Today we "zoom out" from the Baby Jesus and reflect on the spiritual motherhood of Mary. The Church believes that God has called his mother to be our spiritual mother. She is, in a sense, standing behind our earthly mothers. I encourage you to get to know your spiritual mother.

We also see the spiritual Fatherhood of God in today's reading. First, we see God naming his Son, "God saves." The second thing we notice is that God adopts us as his children. The third thing we see is God blessing his children. This blessing makes perfect sense if you picture yourself holding a little baby. These words are what you might want for that child and what the child might want from you.

In 2023 may you experience the love of Mother Mary and the love of God the Father. May the LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!

(1 Jan 2023)

Going Deeper: Consider reading a book about Mary such as A Heart Like Mary by Fr. Edward Looney. Try starting each day by praying (or singing) an Our Father, and ending each day with a Hail Mary or a decade of the Rosary.

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