Good News for the Day, January 1, 2018
Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God
The shepherds ran right over to Bethlehem quickly, they found Mary, Joseph and the baby who was lying in a manger. When they saw this, they shared what they had been told about this boy. Everybody who heard it were surprised at what had been told them by the shepherds. (Mary kept remembering everything, reflecting in her heart.) Afterwards, the shepherds went back out, thanking and praising God for everything they had heard and seen—how it was just as it had been told to them. When eight days had passed, and it was time for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the messenger even before he was conceived. (Luke 2)
In our culture, a new year begins today. We recall the past and look to a fresh start. Let us look at Mary.
For several thousand years, this singular woman, Mary, has been revered for her role in the life and times of Jesus, her son. Statues, poems, doctrines, sermons, near-adoration, churches—have all drawn our attention to her. But familiarity does breed contempt, as we are told.
She looked forward—her life stretched ahead of her like a New Year. She believed in God, our Father’s, world. She believed with hope in a future that included pain.
Her moments with Jesus in the Gospels suggest not hostility, but —something akin to respectful confrontation—faith in a challenge or problem—she deals with them in ways that keep insisting not on human relationships, but on faith, on change, on growth, or resolutions that trust God. Read her conversation with Gabriel the Messenger of Jesus’s conception, her conversation with Jesus at Cana—or when she comes with family to “bring” him home, or at the foot of the Cross.
The Good News for you and me—that her faith in a good outcome justifies the respectful acceptance of the challenge. She lives a faith that sees that power lies in trust and love for others.
The New Year can be your great change, discovery and growth in faith—the finding of boundless life and peace that her kind of faith creates.