Solemnity of Mary

January 1, 2023

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God and the beginning of a New Year of grace, 2023. A week after our Lord’s Nativity, we pause and honor His Mother. In our first reading today from the Book of Numbers, we hear the Lord instructing Moses on how to bless the Israelites. It is the familiar Blessing of Aaron. As we begin the New Year it is a good way to be blessed, “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you! The Lord look upon you kindly, and give you peace.” Let us begin this new year with God blessing our hearts and homes. In today’s second reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, Paul reminds us of our true identity as adopted sons (and daughters) of God and heirs to Heaven. Today’s Gospel from Luke is a continuation of the Christmas story as the shepherds go in haste to see for themselves the joyous tidings revealed to them by the angels. They then go and spread the good news. In this passage we hear, “And Mary kept all things, reflecting on them in her heart.” As the new year begins we too, sons and daughters of God and also Mary, are invited to ponder the message of Christmas, and keep it in our hearts the whole year through.

An old poem, author of unknown, comes to mind today. It goes like this:

As the covered wagon rolled and pitched along the prairie track.

One sat looking forward, and one sat looking back.

One searched the wide horizon for a bright and better day:

And one saw the disappointing road ‘til it too slipped away.

As the covered wagon rolled and pitched along the prairie track.

One sat looking forward, and one sat looking back.”

What will 2023 bring each of us? We know which direction we face will no doubt bring different perspectives. For many of us it will mean change, perhaps tumultuous change. For some I believe it will be challenging as we face the announcement of the All Things New Plan in May. Will it be a bright horizon? Will it be a better day? Doesn’t it depend on which way we look? Today’s reading can help us to remember that whatever happens this coming year, we are God’s beloved sons and daughters, and He will be with us every step of the way. He will bless us and keep us. He will let His face shine upon us, and fill us with the grace we need to move forward with hope. He will lift up His countenance upon us and fill us with peace, IF we put our faith in Him.

Happy New Year!


God Bless! Happy New Year!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete