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1st Jan. 2017 - The Solemnity of Mary

posted 30 Dec 2016, 07:47 by Veronica Yarwood

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God



And what a New Year's message we have today. The inspired

word offers each one of us a Saviour. We have an all-saving

Saviour. Have joy, relax and ponder. Ponder the meaning of

the Christmas birth we have just celebrated. This story of

angels rejoicing and all the rest is no fairy story. This story is

history, his story. And it is for the really real now. Our now!

We are into the mystery of God's eternal plan, planned from

before all ages. There is no turning back. There is no

reversing of the saving action and energy. Salvation is

released throughout the creation. We are into cosmic,

universal and even particular salvation.


So in particular, we find shepherds, the social outcasts,

rejoicing in their vocation of being first witnesses. And Jesus

as a young preacher is consistent. The poor and, the outcast

are his first community. All who know themselves well

enough to acknowledge total dependence on the Saviour are

Jesus' first love. The prostitutes and sinners flock to him. His

life is theirs and their life is his. It takes one who has been

cast out to save an outcast, an outlaw and an untouchable.


It also takes a Paul to glimpse and grasp the meaning of it all.

The saving force released in Jesus makes us all children of

God. 'at the appropriate time' God's purpose is fulfilled, not

just for the Chosen People but for all. Now is the appointed

time. Now the blessing, special to the people of Israel, is for

all. It is universal, embracing as it does, the whole of



It makes you think! Hopefully, it makes us ponder. In the

way that Mary ponders. Mary treasures 'all these things'.

Mary doesn't stop at musing and veneration, however. Mary

responds! 'Mary responds generously and trustingly at

annunciation, visitation and nativity. That is the standard:

contemplation and response. Mary is an example to us all.

Reflection and action is the saving response.


So we celebrate World Day of Peace. We point to one area

for reflection and for action. The great priestly blessing:

"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."

Numbers 6:2 assures us that peace is God's principle blessing. The gift of

peace carries a sense of wholeness and wellbeing and of being

in harmony with God's will, however puzzling or confusing it

might seem. So we are way beyond absence of war when we

talk of 'World Peace'. We are thinking in terms of a deep

sense of solidarity, wellbeing and wholeness. So what about

those New Year's resolutions? Commitment to peace, private

and public might just provide a profoundly beautiful start to

2012. Peace be with you.