This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, as we start a New Year. As reported in the media outlet, “Catholic News Agency”, our Holy Father Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to begin the New Year by placing their lives under the protection of Mary, the Mother of God. He stated, “At the beginning of the New Year, then, let us place ourselves under the protection of this woman, the Mother of God, who is also our mother. May she help us to keep and ponder all things, unafraid of trials and with the joyful certainty that the Lord is faithful and can transform every cross into a resurrection.”
Pope Francis also encouraged the faithful to look to Mary as a model and to follow her example of holiness. He also challenged the faithful, as disciples, to take a more spiritual focus to the New Year, in the midst of the many temptations of the secular world.
This hope for a more spiritual focus is reflected in the following “A New Year Prayer”.
Lord, You make things new,
You bring hope alive in our hearts and cause our Spirits to be born again.
Thank You for this New Year for all the potential it holds.
Come and kindle in us a mighty flame so that in our time,
many will see the wonders of God and live forever to praise Your glorious name. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, as we begin the New Year, and as we celebrate today the Solemnity of Mary, we are invited to take to heart the words of Our Holy Father. At this time of the year, many of us make resolutions to renew or revitalize our lives in certain ways. We may resolve to lose weight, exercise more frequently, or be more punctual. But many of us may fail to reflect on ways that we can renew or revitalize our lives spiritually.
Maybe we can embrace a more spiritual focus by making more time for scripture reading and reflection. We can also possibly make a more concerted effort to pray each day, preferably as a family. It may be before meals or at a certain time of the day. Maybe we can attend daily Mass or embrace some activity that will be spiritually beneficial. Whatever we do, hopefully, it will bring us closer to the Lord who loves us.
On behalf of Fr. Darragh, Fr. Bill, our Deacons, and the staff at Saint Brigid, we wish you many spiritual blessings as our New Year commences.