Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 01, 2024


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R/. O God, be gracious and bless us.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. At many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: The shepherds went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

1. We are stepping into another new year 2024. At these first moments of the new year, let us first warm ourselves with a warm sentiment of gratitude for the whole of the last year. No doubt that it had its own woes and struggles. But it shall not blind us to the positive and the blessings.

2. There are very many things to thank God and others for. The experiences of God’s protection, care, love, guidance, nourishment, and power that gave us the taste of success, satisfaction, joy, and strength have been constant and deep.

3. The experiences of the goodness of others through concern and support are too numerous. We have many reasons to be grateful. The very fact that we are able to celebrate this New Year is a clear sign of God’s blessing.

4. Of course, we want to be realistic. The New Year is not a magical rod that will vanquish all the fears and problems. It would be foolish to think so. Most of the same old challenges and burdens will travel into the New Year as well. But, what makes the difference is when we carry God also into the New Year along with all these.

5. At the threshold of this New Year, we are assured of God’s company and blessing. We hear in the first reading from the book of Numbers, “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”.

6. This blessing by God is symbolized by celebrating the naming of Jesus and the Motherhood of Mary. Thereby we are assured that the New Year will be blessed because we are sealed and shielded by the powerful name of Jesus.

7. We shall march forward and surge ahead because we walk in his holy name and under his sacred tutelage. The name and the power of Jesus shall be our identity, our guide, and direction, our weapon, and our security.

8. Further, we are entrusted to the motherhood of Mary. All our New Year shall be specially mothered by her. She will take care of us with a mother’s tenderness. She will direct us closer to her divine Son. She will obtain forgiveness for our faults and wrongs. She will obtain for us the needed graces to live authentically and fruitfully.

Catholic Leaf is website that provides Sundays and Weekdays catholic reflections. Please use catholic leaf as a tool for preparing your Homily.