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Mary, Queen of Peace

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
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!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. May God bless us in his mercy.

Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

Gospel: Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

NAB

JAN 1

What a wonderful way to start of the New Year—by celebrating the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. When I was younger (and not practicing my faith), I always wondered why the Church would have a Marian feast on New Year’s Day. It seemed like the day should be centered on sleeping in, being with family and friends, and watching the Rose Parade or football.

Now I understand that this feast day serves as a needed reminder that celebration is well and good but there is a bigger picture that can’t be ignored. We are called to look beyond the temporal and our own lives and reflect on the universality of God’s family and the role that Mary’s motherhood played in our salvation.

When I think of Mary, two things immediately come to mind. First, her complete surrender to God’s will, whether she was accepting the mind-blowing call to be the Virgin Mother of the Savior or letting go of her beloved Son as she watched his violent crucifixion. Mary accepted God’s will and her heart always remained focused on God.

The second aspect that comes to mind is Mary’s peace and calmness. When I read today’s Gospel my mind’s eye could picture the shepherds in the stable relaying God’s message to Mary and Joseph. I can’t help but imagine what I would have been like in a similar situation. Most likely, I’d have been freaking out. But the Gospel says, “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” You can almost feel Mary’s calmness and her surrender to God’s will. Even if she was troubled, knowing that God was in charge of the bigger picture gave Mary peace.

I thought about this again the other day when I read a quote from Pope Paul VI in his apostolic exhortation Marialis Cultus. He referred to the Solemnity of Mary as “a fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels, and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace.”

There it is again—peace. It is something that we need so desperately in these violent times. We need peace in the world, in our community, in our family, in our hearts. Mary’s example points us to her Son, the Prince of Peace.

Today let’s turn to Mary as our Mother and ask her to pray for us that we may accept God’s will with humble surrender and live as instruments of peace to those around us, especially to those who need it most.

photo by Madi Myers-Cook

Bobbi Rol is a wife, a mama of four and a blogger learning to love God in the midst of dishes, laundry and swinging light sabers. You can find out more about her here.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Friday Raphael
    October 20, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    You can’t find peace by avoiding life.

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