« I will bless them… »
Our reflection for yesterday – the last day of the year – was inviting us to ‘Count our blessings’.
And our celebration today, on the first day of the New Year is all about BLESSINGS.
The word comes back in different texts of the liturgy.
In the 1st reading (Numbers 6:22-27), we see Moses calling on God’s blessing for his people: “May the Lord bless you…”
And we hear God’s own promise: “And I will bless them.”
The Psalm (66 (67) echoes the same words: “May God be gracious to us and bless us… May God still give us his blessing.”
As we celebrate today the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, we recall the prayer that we, Christians, address her so many times.
We repeat again and again: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”
In our daily conversation, we do not often mention the word ‘blessing’. We hear people talk about chance, opportunity, good luck. A recent addition to this list is that of ‘synchronicity’ an expression that underlines the fact that something good happened just at the right time. Strangely, the word ‘blessing’ seems absent.
Is it that we do not recognise it under its disguises? Would it be that we no longer discern God’s visitation to us and the many gifts (another word for ‘blessings’) that his coming brings to us? Is it that… we look without seeing, that… we hear without perceiving?
In the text of Luke’s gospel today (2:16-21), we are told: “Mary stored up all these things in her heart.”
Perhaps that was the secret why she was happy (another word for ‘blessed’).
During this festive season, we exchange good wishes of all kinds and we often repeat to all those we meet: ‘HAPPY New Year!’ Yes, we want this new year to be happy in all manner of things.
We want it to be… ‘blessed’, filled with the Lord’s precious gifts as the weeks and months go by.
It will be so, if only we keep in our hearts the memory of God’s repeated blessings reaching us from day to day!
Pics: Moses uncyclopedia.wikia.com Nativity Michael Gleghorn.com