Friday, January 1, 2016

Jan 1st Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God / Happy New Year

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners and spread the effects of grace of your Flame of Love over all humanity, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
 On January 1, the Church commemorates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - the greatest title of Mary. This feast in the oldest Marian feast of the church of Rome and it celebrates Mary's vocation to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Through Mary, Jesus Christ entered this world, taking on human flesh and a human soul. Jesus is true God and true man. In His person are united both a divine nature and a human nature. Mary is in every history with Jesus and by her intercession we obtain all necessary graces to our life. Besides, being the Mother of God, Mary assumed the mother of all humanity working and helping all those who seek her. So when we look at the image of the Virgin Mary we felt an encouragement in our heart which fortifies our spirituality and comfort our soul. It is the fragrance of the immense and grandiose love.
"So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds said to them. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told. When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception."  ~Luke 2,16-21

Meanwhile, January 1 also marks the jubilation of the New Year and every faithful exchange new years greetings as an expression of hope for a peaceful new year. Along with this, the date has been designated as “World Day of Peace”. As a deep aspiration for peace, this particular day is reserved for intense prayer for peace, education towards peace and those values inextricably linked with it, such as liberty, fraternal solidarity, the dignity of the human person, respect for nature, the right to work, the sacredness of human life, and the denunciation of injustices which trouble the conscience of man and threaten peace. 
Just like the Great Jubilee that John Paul observed, we have another opportunity not only to celebrate a new year, but an Extraordinary Jubilee Year. John Paul taught that “the Jubilee, ‘a year of the Lord’s favor,’ characterizes all the activity of Jesus; it is not merely the recurrence of an anniversary in time.” Anniversaries are not mere numbers, but a way of making present what we celebrate. This New Year’s Day let us celebrate God’s transformation of history by his coming into the world and then let this celebration continue to mark our observance of this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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