First reading Numbers 6:22-27

They are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”
This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’
 

Responsorial Psalm 66(67):2-3,5,6,8

O God, be gracious and bless us.
 
O God, be gracious and bless us
  and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
  and all nations learn your saving help.
 
O God, be gracious and bless us.
 
Let the nations be glad and exult
  for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
  you guide the nations on earth.
 
O God, be gracious and bless us.
 
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
  let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
  till the ends of the earth revere him.
 
O God, be gracious and bless us.
 

Second reading Galatians 4:4-7

God sent his Son, born of a woman

When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.
 

Gospel Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the baby lying in the manger

The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
  When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.
 
______________________________
 

Mary treasured and pondered these words in her heart

Today, we welcome the new year with the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. The gospel states that Mary “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart”. What were these things that she treasured and pondered? Mary listened to the shepherds as they proclaimed with joy what the angel told them, “Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord…” (Luke 2:10-11). By treasuring and pondering over these words of God, she allowed them to fill her mind and heart with peace and strength.
 
At the start of this New Year, we are invited to enter into the process of contemplating and pondering. Often, we allow ourselves to be  ladened with anxious thoughts about the future, sad memories of the past, etc. Like Mary, let us fill our minds and hearts with God’s life- giving words and allow them to light our paths as we journey through this year.
 
Question for reflection:
Do I fill my mind and heart with the word of God or with negative thoughts and feelings?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.