Scripture Reflection - January 1, 2017

Second Week of Christmas Solemnity of the Mother of God

Nm 6: 22-27, Gal 4:4-7, Lk 2:16-21

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

What is God’s message to us on this first day of 2017? ​The scripture readings are simultaneously encouraging and challenging.


The first reading from Numbers provides us with a rich blessing:           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!

We are called to intimacy with the divine in a gracious and kindly manner.  We are meant to experience and to share God’s peace.

The reading from Galatians continues this call.  We are not to approach our God in a fearful, servant-like manner but rather with the confidence of a well-loved child, recipient of the best a parent can offer.

And then, in Luke’s account, we meet Mary and her Child.  Her humility and openness to God has enabled her to bring forth Emmanuel, God with us.

“Be it done unto me according to your word.”  How great her faith; how deep her “yes” when she learned she was being called by God for whom nothing is impossible.

Mary’s “yes” is ongoing.  We are told that she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”  She loved her son totally and learned from him continuously.

As we begin a new year, Mary shows us the way.  Daily, she would reflect upon her son’s actions and attitudes while discerning the meaning of his words.  Are we not called to do the same?

May 2017 find us confident and kindly, with discerning hearts, open to the peace that is offered to us, that peace for which our world so yearns.

Sister Mary Eileen O’Brien, OP

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