Happy New Year! A new year is beginning for us, a new time is given to us to bring about the Kingdom, a year to grow, to know, to love, and Mary accompanies us on this adventure... an adventure of discovery of what we are deep within and she teaches us to look with the heart. She "kept all these things in her heart." (Lk 2:52) From her we learn to be custodians of life, of light.
It is beautiful to live moments of hope in life. It is beautiful that each of us, in spite of everything, always seeks solutions to difficult moments. So, this beginning of the civil year, lived in a moment of world crisis and distrust, becomes an opportunity to celebrate life, in spite of everything.
The Word of God intervenes in this passage and illuminates its profound meaning: the year that is beginning will probably be full of lights and shadows, like any other year. For some it will be a year in which joys will prevail; for others, unfortunately, there will be challenges to face. Mary suggests the correct attitude for living this time... orienting it all towards the essential, keeping every event in our hearts and meditating on them in light of the Word. Only in this way will we discover God's presence and his smile on us in the events we experience. Mary teaches us to cherish and look at the past with tenderness, the present with trust and the future with hope.
Today we celebrate the Feast of Mary's Motherhood and the World Day of Peace. Two priorities within our daily choices....
- To have Mary's meditative silence as a model. Before the mystery of what was happening to her, she kept everything, meditating on it in her heart, putting the pieces together... trying to find the red thread, discovering its deepest meaning. She tried to discover that God was smiling on her, that God was blessing her. Whatever happens, the essential thing for us is to discover beyond and within events the presence of God who encourages and reassures us. And this awareness brings us deep peace in our hearts, a life that is peaceful becomes peacemaking.
- Mary holding the Child Jesus in her hands in the tender and generative gesture of care. In our becoming fully human, we depend on care. We are called to relationship: we can live because there are two hands that have welcomed us and helped us grow. Our life is intertwined with that of others and every journey is always within that love which tends towards communion. To be there, then, is to have care, concern for the other person, solicitude... trying to favor him or her in his or her well-being, feeling like custodians who are aware of the responsibility that this implies.
On this day of good wishes, the first words that the Church addresses to us in the Liturgy are words of blessing. To bless is to invoke from heaven a force that makes life grow, that gives energy to start again, to rise again, to seek, find, and proclaim the good that is in every person.
We are called pass on the blessing we receive, to bless others, always. So, a concrete action for this time could be to be a blessing and to care for others.
Pope Francis, in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti writes, "No one can experience the value of life without concrete faces to love. Here lies the secret of authentic human existence, because life subsists where there is bonding, communion, care, brotherhood, blessing."
- In light of this, we can ask ourselves, do I care for others? Am I a blessing to the people I meet?
We conclude this reflection by proclaiming the beautiful blessing that Moses gave to Aaron: "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 turn his face to you and grant you peace." Amen. Best Wishes!