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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 01.01.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 01.01.2023

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SOLEMNITY OF MARY MOTHER OF GOD.

WORLD DAY OF PEACE

FIRST READING.
“They shall put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them…”
NUMBERS 6: 22 – 27

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron and his sons, thus you shall bless the sons of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you: The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the sons of Israel, And I will bless them.”

The Word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 67: 2 – 3, 5 – 6 and 8 (R.) 2a

R/. O God, be gracious and bless us

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth and all nations learn your salvation. R/.

Let the nations be glad and shout for joy,
with uprightness you rule the peoples;
you guide the nations on earth. R/.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
that all the ends of the earth may revere him. R/.

SECOND READING
“God sent forth his Son, born of a woman.”
GALATIANS 4: 4 – 7

Brethren: When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

The Word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA
Hebrews 1: 1 – 2.

Alleluia.
In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“They found Mary and Joseph, and the baby . . . And at the end of eight days, he was called Jesus.”
LUKE 2: 16 – 21

At that time: The shepherds went with haste to Bethlehem, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Mother of Jesus is the Mother of God
Sunday, January 1, 2023

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

Today, January 1, we complete our octave celebration of Christmas Day. It’s an often overlooked liturgical fact that we celebrate Christmas Day for eight straight days. We do this also with Easter Day, which concludes with the great celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday.

On this, the eighth day of the Octave of Christmas, we turn our focus to the unique and beautiful fact that God chose to enter our world through a human mother. Mary is called the “Mother of God” for the simple fact that her Son is God. She was not the mother of her Son’s flesh alone, nor the mother only of His human nature. This is because the Person of Jesus, the Son of God, is one Person. And that one Person took on flesh within the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Though becoming the Mother of God was a pure gift from Heaven and not something that Mother Mary merited on her own, there was one particular quality that she had that made her uniquely qualified to fulfill this role. That quality was her immaculate nature.

First, Mother Mary was preserved from all sin when she was conceived within the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. This special grace was a grace that was imparted to her from the future life, death and resurrection of her Son. It was the grace of salvation, but God chose to take that gift of grace and transcend time to impart it to her at the moment of her conception, thus making her the perfect and pure instrument necessary to bring forth God into the world.

Second, Mother Mary remained faithful to this gift of grace throughout her life, never choosing to sin, never wavering, never turning from God. She remained immaculate throughout her life. Interestingly, it is this choice of hers, to forever remain obedient to the will of God in every way, that makes her more fully the Mother of God than the simple act of bearing Him within her womb. Her act of perfect unity with the will of God throughout her life makes her, also, the perfect mother of divine grace and mercy and perpetually the spiritual Mother of God, continually and perfectly bringing Him into our world.

Reflect, today, upon these most solemn mysteries of our faith. This eighth day of the Octave of Christmas is a solemn celebration, a celebration worthy of our pondering. The Scripture above reveals not only how our blessed Mother approached this mystery but also how we are to approach it. She “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Ponder these mysteries, also, in your own heart and allow the grace of this holy celebration to fill you with joy and gratitude.

PRAYER:
Dearest Mother Mary, you were graced with a grace beyond any other. You were preserved from all sin and remained perfectly obedient to the will of God throughout your life. As a result, you became the perfect instrument of the Savior of the World by becoming His mother, the Mother of God. Pray for me that I may ponder this great mystery of our faith this day and ever more deeply rejoice in the incomprehensible beauty of your motherly soul. Mother Mary, the Mother of God, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.

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