The Visit of the Shepherds
16[The shepherds] went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. 19And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 20Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
21When 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.
Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them. On this first day of the New Year, we honor Mary the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church. For this stage in our journey of faith and pilgrimage to Jesus, the Gospel suggests that we reflect on three reactions to Jesus’ coming.
The shepherds show understanding. When they see the infant lying in the manger, they make known the message that has been told them about the child. Their accepting attitude leads them to glorify and praise God.
Those who have heard the shepherds are amazed by what has been told them. Though we are not told whether they will later go to see the Child Jesus, on our part, we are called to share his good news with others.
Mary reflects on everything that happens. She patiently waits for the unfolding of God’s plans for her. She accepts things as they are and ponders on them in the silence of her heart. Her attitude allows God to take control of her very life. With love, she follows God’s will and God’s plans.
As we welcome the New Year, let us open ourselves to God’s plans. When we do not get what we ask for, let us accept God’s will, firmly believing that God loves us and wants only what is best for us. With love and patience let us wait for the unfolding of God’s plans. Even failures must be perceived as blessings.
Wish your loved ones God’s blessings for the New Year: “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!”