Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

January 1, A.D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21

A reflection on today's Scripture:

You may have a favorite devotion to Mary, perhaps under her title of Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima or our Lady of Guadalupe and there are others approved by the Church. Inspiring as these are, they all rely on the title of the Blessed Virgin assigned to this Solemnity: Mary, the Mother of God. Even the title of Immaculate Conception relies on the decision of God to select Mary as the mother of God. Elsewise, there is no need for her to have been conceived without original sin.

At different times, in confession or spiritual direction or other conversations, people relate their religious experience: times when a peace of mind, a promoting or an insight made them very conscious of God's love. We could say about these times, with the gospel of Luke, speaking of the shepherds, the angels have announced good news. These religious experiences prompt some haste in our hearts and lives. We receive consolation to strengthen us, consolation to guide us, or inspiration to motivate us. These are personal signs that God is acting in some way, assuming you have tested the spirits, to have you bear the grace of Christ into the world.

Make haste to Jesus when God is acting -- use Joseph and Mary as your inspirations and intercessors.

From today's Gospel we learn something about how to discern, how to bear patiently and at the time of grace to act. We learn it from Mary who listened to the shepherds and reflected on this, as she had after the angel Gabriel spoke, and soon she would reflect on the greetings of the wise men. Later on she would ponder the meaning of the son lost in the temple, later searching for Jesus as He preached, and the horror and unfathomable love of the Cross.

She is the Mother of God. It is a characteristic of the title the Church proclaims. A sacred motherhood offered itself to communicate to Jesus the flesh by which He would save the world. Most parents can understand this. Parents ponder what has been given, unfolds and has been done in their child's life. For her, the depth is unfathomable to us but not unknowable. Motherhood is a real unfolding of life and she was not freed from the burdens of motherhood's love. She is led by the Spirit to accept this motherhood, the role of birth, the role of parent and the witness to salvation. Then the Mother of God becomes Mother of the Church.

As the shepherds teach us to make haste when God is acting so that we can submit to God's will, Mary teaches us to reflect and ponder on that call. In that call God is near. She, from her parents' love for Jesus, teaches us God is near, Jesus is the Emmanuel, God is with us.

- Rev. Stephen H. Gratto |
email: smartins@frontiernet.net

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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