Mary Kept All These Things in Her Heart

01-01-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The first reading of today is a prayer of blessing given to Moses by God as the format of blessing over the people. It is very profound that such prayer comes in as our first reading today as the year begins.

God’s blessing is what we all need especially as we step into a new year today. As no one knows how the year will unfold for each of us, God’s blessing becomes very necessary for us. Besides, it would be something of great value if we take time to reflect on the various ways we were blessed by God in the last year. Whenever we count our blessings, we realize God’s merciful love upon us and it becomes real for us that God is always with us in our journey.

In that prayer of blessing in the first reading Moses says, “May the Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.” We need God’s protection because He is the only one who holds the key to life. We need His protection because every day we are in constant battle against the enemy. We need God’s protection because only in His love are we surely secured. Furthermore, when His face shines upon us as we heard in today’s reading His favors come alive and the manifestation of joy, peace and blessings abound. God’s face to shine upon us is to radiate His love by walking in His path. These are the graces God wants His people to be blessed with and we claim it to be our own blessing today as this year begins.

The gospel presents us with the story of the shepherds who went in haste to see the newborn Child on hearing the news of the birth of Jesus. It is very amazing to note that the shepherds were the first people to hear about the news of the birth of such a great savior. The shepherds are one of the filthiest people because of the nature of the profession but they are the people to receive the news of the holiest person. The symbolism is that it was for this people that Jesus was born. This reveals that He came for the unclean, dirty, and filthy. The testimony of the shepherd about Jesus was kept in the silence of Mary’s heart. Whenever we are confronted with overwhelming situations in our lives the value of silence is the best route to take. We pray that Our Blessed Mother continues to intercede for us as we begin this new year.

Let the New Year be a blessing for us where the face of God will shine upon us to experience His gracious love.

Happy New Year to all.

Father Tony Okolo C.S.Sp., V.F.