Skip to main content
site map
our twitter
HomeCommentariesJesus is RealPrayDevotion To MaryJournalReflectionsHumorLinks


Tuesday, January 1, 2019, Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

God Bless You

First Reading Commentary: Numbers 6:22-27

What the LORD said to Moses in today’s reading from Numbers presents us with another great opportunity to consider Scripture’s influence on the Mass. Some Non-Catholic Christians will argue that Catholics do not know Scripture because they do not spend enough time with Scripture. That is totally—not true.

Everything that occurs during a Mass is based on Scripture. In fact, the first half of the Mass (that part of the Mass before the priest goes to the altar) is called the Liturgy of the Word because it is the Word.

There are twenty different Solemn Blessings in the St. Paul Daily Missal and the priest will select one of those Blessings if a Solemn Blessing is given at the end of Mass. If you study those blessings, you will see that each of them follows the instruction given by the LORD for Moses to pass on to Aaron and his sons on how to bless the people. Each of these blessings have a human author but all of them follow the same format.

When the priest delivers a blessing at the end of Mass whether it be a simple blessing or a Solemn Blessing, he is saying, “God Bless you” to the people. Saying “God Bless you” to someone has become so common that we usually fail to meditate on its full meaning. My interpretation of what “God bless you” means when it is said from the heart is: May God make you happy today, tomorrow and forever.

Again, there are three parts to the blessing in God’s instructions which is a Solemn Blessing. The first part is a blessing for life. “The LORD bless you and keep you!” When we say this to someone, we are asking God to grant that person a long and healthy life of happiness and joy. By asking God to keep them, we are also asking God to protect that person from the evils of sin.

The second part is a blessing for grace. “The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!” Here, we are asking God to look with favor on all of that person’s intentions and to provide them with all of the things that they need physically and more importantly, spiritually. We are asking God to descend His Spirit upon that person bestowing on them the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The third part is a blessing for salvation. “The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!” By asking God to look upon that person kindly, we are asking God to forgive them of their sins and by asking God to give them peace, we are asking God to grant them the reward of heaven.

God promised Moses that when Aaron and his sons blessed the Israelites in this way, that His name would be invoked upon the people and that He would bless them. In other words, when Aaron and his sons blessed the Israelites, God also blessed the Israelites. So, when we say, “God bless you” to someone and we mean it from the heart, God will bless them.

When I first read this passage from Numbers, I asked myself, “What does this have to do with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God?” But when I took the time to meditate on what we are really asking God when we say “God bless you” to someone, I found my answer.

All life comes from the Father through the Son. Likewise, all grace comes from the Father through the Spirit. I say that because, in order for one to receive grace, they must believe and being able to believe comes from the Spirit’s gift of faith. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary and was born into this life through Mary. As a result, all grace that flows through the Spirit, flows through Mary.

The Second person of the Trinity who is our guiding Light to the Kingdom is the Son of Mary. Everything that we ask for with the words “God bless you,” are possible because Mary said, “Yes” and became the mother of Jesus and our mother in heaven.

As our mother in heaven, Mary is the Mediatrix of all Grace. Not because God said so, although He did, but because Mary said, “Yes” and that is why this reading fits the day. God Bless you!

Our Mother of Ransom

Second Reading Commentary Galatians 4:4-7

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul tells us that those who believe in God are all God’s children because God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore, we know that God is our Father in heaven.

Paul also tells us that if we are children of God, then we are heirs and therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven is our inheritance. Heaven is our birthright and we were created for the sole purpose of being in heaven with God. But in order, to claim our inheritance, we have, to do our part by living a life which is favorable to God.

God did His part by sending the Son for our salvation so that the Son could lead the way for us with His Light. Paul says, “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law.” Paul is telling us that in His humanity, Christ was born under the law and therefore subject to the law.

This means that like us, Christ had to obey the Commandments. Also like us, Christ in His humanity, had a free will and could have disobeyed the Commandments. But unlike us, Christ could not sin because of His divinity. Instead, He paid the ransom for our salvation from sin with His own life on the cross.

As we celebrate this day, we look at God sending the Son, born of a woman. That woman is Mary. As the mother of Christ and our mother in heaven, Mary is also our mother of ransom and salvation. In fact, there are many titles that we give to Mary many of which are listed in the Litany of Mary. As we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we celebrate her position in each of those titles.

Yes, it is the Spirit within us that allows us to cry out, “Abba” or “Father” but that is because Mary agreed to become Our Mother of Ransom.

They Heard, Saw and Believed and Mary Was Humble

Gospel Commentary: Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem after being told by the angel of the Lord that the Messiah had been born. They found Mary and Joseph and the infant lying in the manger just as the angel had told them.

God speaks to us in many ways and often times, through a messenger. Sometimes, we do not listen and sometimes, as the saying goes, we even “shoot the messenger.” But the shepherds did listen. Not only did they go to Bethlehem but they went in haste. They could only do this because of their faith which is a demonstration that from the moment of Jesus being born, there were those who believed in Him.

Keep in mind that the angel told the shepherds that they would find an infant lying in a manger so the shepherds were not looking for something spectacular which would be expected for the birth of a king. They were looking for a baby who came into the world in a most extreme humble setting. Nevertheless, this baby was the Messiah and the shepherds believed. They obviously also believed that nothing is beyond God.

The shepherds shared the message given to them by the angel and all who heard it were amazed. Then the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for what they had heard and seen.

The shepherds are an inspiration for us and provide a perfect example of faith. They heard, they believed what they heard, they saw and then they gave glory and praise. We hear through the gospel, we see through the Eucharist and we are called to be like the shepherds. We are called to believe knowing that all things are possible with God and we are called to show our faith by giving glory and praise and finally, we are called to share our faith.

Luke tells us that Mary kept all these things and reflected on them in her heart. She was unlike parents of today who have a way of bragging about their children. It’s a good thing to be proud of our children and I am sure that Mary was proud to be the mother of Jesus. But misguided pride is a deadly sin and Mary, though given every opportunity, did not fall into that trap.

Instead of running around shouting, “Guess who my Son is and guess what He can do,” she practiced humility by keeping everything in her heart. Something which we do not always think of, is that as Jesus grew up, Mary’s humility gave Him space to carry out His mission. Jesus did not have to compete with or live up to things that Mary bragged about because she did not brag. Jesus could have stood up to anything but Mary’s humility allowed Jesus to be Jesus.

Jesus taught humility through His Word and He practiced humility by being humble toward the Father and by serving us. In His humanity, Jesus acquired His humility from Mary. In His divinity, Jesus showed us God’s way with His humility. God’s way came through Mary to us.

Jesus—Emmanuel—God is with us, became one of us because Mary gave Him birth. And, as the humble mother of God, the Son, Mary is our humble mother in heaven.

Reading 1          Numbers 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses: “Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them: 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!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Responsorial Psalm          67:2-3, 5-6, 8

R/ (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.

May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.
R/ May God bless us in his mercy.

May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide.
R/ May God bless us in his mercy.

May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R/ May God bless us in his mercy.

Reading 2          Galatians 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.

Gospel          Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Wear the mask!
Wash your hands!
Maintain social distancing!
Pray for our leadership!

Get the vaccine!

The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paragraph 767 "When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church."174 Then "the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun."175 As the "convocation" of all men for salvation, the Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them.176

The Holy Spirit came to Mary and the Apostles as tongues of fire.

Saint of the Day

Mary, Mother of God

Aaron and his sons were taught to bless the Israelites asking God to look on the people with favor granting them life, salvation and peace.

Alleluia Hebrews 1:1-2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The shepherds were amazed and Mary kept these things and reflected on them in her heart.

Most Holy Name of Jesus 

At the Holy Name of Jesus, every knee shall bend.

Site Powered By
    WebBizBuilder Site Manager
    Online web site design