Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

January 1st – Blessed beginning

Scripture Reflection . . .

Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God

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First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 67 “May God bless us in his mercy.”

Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

Gospel Reading: Luke 2:16-21

As we enter into the New Year, we hear this blessing given by God to Moses and the Israelites,

“The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!

The Gospel recounts the visit of the shepherds to the manger after the birth of Jesus, “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting upon them in her heart.”

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We walk into this new year with the invitation to reflect on all the blessing of this past year, and to carry with the gift of peace. When we have hearts of gratitude we are able to be people of peace.

In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .

This past week we have celebrated the Octave of Christmas – 8 days of Christmas. It is too incredible to be contained in one day!

We celebrated Christmas Eve with Liturgy with many guests filling the Chapel. On Christmas Day we gathered again for Liturgy followed by dinner shared with many.

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Thursday many of us enjoyed a candle light concert in our Chapel with Sr. Anne Marie as the pianist. And of course a sharing of refreshments afterward.

On Friday evening we were invited to celebrate  the gift of the season and neighbors with a family down the road from us.  Coincidentally this was on the Feast of the Holy Family.

We gathered on New Year’s Eve, beginning in prayer to thank God for the gifts of the past year and to pray for peace in the coming year – peace that begins with us. A sharing of conversation and food followed, and a few of us welcomed in the New Year with warm wishes and hugs for each other.

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We begin this year with gratitude for so many blessings and the gift of peace.

In Your Life . . .

Before you journey further into this new year you may want to pray with the following prayer, pausing after to thank God for specific blessing received in the past year. Then ask God for the grace to be a bearer of peace in this year ahead.

“Unchanging yet ever new God, at the beginning of this New Year, I remember your faithfulness and love; I give you thanks for the signs of your presence with me.  I pray with and for others for the gift of peace in this country and all parts of the world.  I bring to you my memories of the past year and hopes for the coming days.”

Blessing in your New Year!

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