2021. január 1., péntek

Starting the New Year With the Mother of God (1 January)

Our readings sum up the message and themes of Christmas. 'Today a light will shine upon us, for the Lord is born for us; and he will be called Wondrous God, Prince of Peace.' We also read of Mary. Our opening prayer assured us of her power of intercession. Then of the shepherd's pilgrimage, who have led us again to the crib. 

It is good to start the year with Mother of God. Today we celebrate that her love is real. This love is real for Jesus, for us, and for the church. We are offered to make this always open and always embracing love the epicentre of the coming year. 

The first day of the year is allocated for today's feast. It is important. For we live in a world, which is the echo-chamber of news. Good or bad news, mostly bad, have been embracing us, all the time. We are swimming in the sea of news which will never redeem us - regardless how often we hear them. Today' feast lifts us above the 'echo-chamber' of our modern (self-listening to) world. This is the realm of divine blessing. We are held above, we are held free from this world. Today we celebrate that are being 'kept', as Moses' blessing puts it. On the Feast of the Mother of God,'May the Lord bless and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.'  





John's letter reminds us that in Jesus Christ we have known God. This is a powerful emphasis of the Christmas season. The Incarnation, if taken seriously, compels us to recognise the passing nature of this world. 'Because you have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning.' Not recognizing the transitory nature of the world in which we live is the biggest mistake one can make. 

Without the Incarnation, we not only live with illusions undetected but we ourselves invite them. In their turn, they will furnish our imagination, shape, and condition our desires. In other words, living without the Incarnation (and its demands on our lives), we live an unexamined life. And unexamined life, as John's letter warns, leaves uncultivated those spiritual and intellectual skills in us, which is necessary for our soul's 'survival' - and the happiness we are all striving for.  



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