SOLEMNITY OF MARY THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD (NEW YEAR MASS)
Homily: Today, a New Year begins. Almost all of us has witness many New Years in the past, because even the just concluded year was once new. We have only gathered here today to celebrate the faithfulness of God in our lives. For the book of Lamentations says, “the compassions of the Lord never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3: 21-23). God has been faithful you and I, and that is why we are alive today. There are many who wants to continue to live but couldn’t see the light of this day. We therefore return all glory to God for being part of this New Year.
Hence, the Church in her wisdom chose to celebrate our Holy Mother Mary today, because she is the Mother of God and of all humanity. Mary is a model of faithfulness, and therefore the Mother of the New Year. Mary’s acceptance of the Words of God through the angel brought us the good news which we celebrate in this season. Her acceptance brought redemption to man from the bondage of the law of old which lacked grace. Through her acceptance of this message, God adopted us as His sons and daughters, and sent us the Holy Spirit of his Son into our heart which gives us the audacity to call God “Abba! Father!”.
However, the gospel captures the mood of Mary throughout the unraveling of this mystery of our salvation. She was clam and kept contemplating over all the things she heard and saw. This attitude is contrary to the attitude of modern people, who dares God and tries to describe with certainty, a mystery they know little or nothing about. Mary was different, she followed God in her humility, simplicity and total confidence in God’s will. Mary was also a pious woman who worships in the temple and observed its rules. The bible recalled that she circumcised and gave the child Jesus his name after eight days of his birth, which was according to the Law of Moses. We are therefore invited to take Mary’s spirituality and humility as our model in this New Year. We must make a New Year resolution today, to be closer to God more than the past years. Also, we have to resolve to live a practical Christian life, by expressing in our lives, what we believe in our hearts.
Finally, this homily cannot come to an end, without going back to the blessings associated with today as we read in the first reading of today. I will therefore follow the instructions of God to Moses, on how Aaron and his sons was to bless the people. And since Aaron represents the image of the priesthood of old. I therefore give this same blessings to everybody here just as the mouth of the Lord had said it in today’s reading, “The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Num. 6: 24-26). Let all these blessings follow us in this New Year and all the days of our lives. Amen.
-Fr Justin Nzekwe