It is 01st January 2019. We celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. The entrance antiphon of the Holy Eucharist solemnly acclaims: “Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King, who rules Heaven and earth for ever.” (Is.9:1,5; Lk.1:33) The readings are from Numbers 6:22-27; the second reading is from Galatians 4:4-7; and the Gospel from Luke 2:16-21. Wishing you all a year filled with blessings and protection of the Lord through the year 2019. Just celebrated the Vigil Mass and prayed for you and for your intentions and requesting your blessings and prayers for me in this brand-New Year 2019. There is no beginning without God and Mother of God. Everything that is new began from the birth of Jesus, the Son of God in the womb of Mary, our beloved Mother and intercessor. On the very first day of the New Year, we confess and accept and affirm the doctrine that Mary is the Mother of God. We have a solid Scriptural foundation from the words of Elizabeth who filled with the Holy Spirit cried out in joy greeting Mary as the Mother of God. God bestowed this title on the humble and lowly handmaid when God wanted the Only Son of God to enter in human history to purify the corruption of sin, to save the sinners and to redeem the lost. Our blessings of the year are bestowed on all who are willing to face God on the first day of the year. We need the light of Christ fall on us today as we enter the new year with hope, dreams, wishes, plans and expectations. Everything is going to be well with us because of our faith in God and through the intercession of Mother Mary. The first reading is the blessing of God on us. God uncovers God’s countenance to impart the blessings. It is the blessing for the people of Israel as the embark a journey towards the Promise Land. The Lord spoke to Moses and asked him to give them these words of Blessing: ‘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.’ (Num.6:24-26). It is a prayer blessing on all of us too with the five layers of blessings. God protects and shows God’s favour to us; God is pleased with us to give another new year to bless us; God desires mercy and shows compassion to us; God approves and blesses all our plans and wishes for the year; and God fills us all with peace. God’s gaze on us is more than enough for us to walk with confidence, live in dignity and to share the best with others without expecting anything in return. May we continue to be faithful to God and put God first in everything we do and plan in this year. As we thank God for Mother Mary as the mother who brought us and filled us with joy, let us also remember our mothers who brought us all into this world and taught us to love and respect the others and to revere God. The most celebrated, venerated and respected is the mothers who carried us in womb, gave the room for purity, and holiness and provided us the freedom to be the persons we all wish to be. It is our mothers with whom we have nothing to exaggerate and pretend. Our mothers whether they are far are near can feel all that is going on in our lives. May we implore the intercessions of the Mother of God on them today. The responsorial Psalm bestow the blessing: “May God bless us in His mercy.” (Ps.67:2). St. Paul confirms the blessed and appointed time of our salvation was sealed by the incarnation of Jesus in the womb of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin. It is Jesus who offered us the crown of being and becoming the adopted children of God through the Sacrament of Baptism. It is through Jesus, we are free, saved and blessed in everything. The Gospel invites us to have the mindset and the faith like that of the shepherds to profess the Holy Name of Jesus glorifying and praising God in their lives. We too need to contemplate the New Born Christ and His influence as God and Redeemer in our own lives. Mother Mary does not occupy the place of God being the Mother of God rather it is the appropriate acknowledgment due to Her who obeyed God as a believer and a disciple of the Lord Jesus. May our Mother Mary accompany us as we begin this journey in the New Year 2019. Wishing you all the choicest blessings of God on this day and the days ahead. May God bless you all.

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