⏰SOLEMNITY OF MARY MOTHER OF GOD (01 January 2019 – World Day of Peace)

📕Num 6:22-27; Ps 67:2-3, 5-6 and 8; Gal 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21

Congratulation as you were among the number that made it to the end of this outgoing year 2018. I pray for you especially that it may also translate to an end of all things that oppose the purpose of God for your life. And as we cross over into the new year this night, may this new year be a year of testimonies upon testimonies for you and your family through Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the beginning of every year, we celebrate the World Day of Peace. In his message for the celebration, Pope Francis called on all to be carriers of peace in our different vocations in life. He called especially for the sanitization of political offices to become avenues for creating justice and peace for all peoples. In his words, “Good politics is at the service of peace. It respects and promotes fundamental human rights, which are at the same time mutual obligations, enabling a bond of trust and gratitude to be forged between present and future generations.”

That call is especially for us in this current political dispensation. We all, with our different political orientations and sentiments, must consciously work for that peace. We must desist from hate speeches, campaigns of calumny, and so on. No one really gains from war. Let us give peace a chance.

Our celebration of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God gives us an opportunity to learn practical ways of working for that peace. The Gospel gives us the examples of the docility and humility of Mary and the shepherds (Luke 2:16-21) as important dispositions that enable God’s plan to take strong root in our lives. Beyond that, these dispositions help us relate well with others, recognizing the good in them, and helping them to grow into God plans.

2 Chron 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” Begin this year with humility and docility to the will of God and you will experience powerful divine transformation in this year.

St Paul reminds us that we cannot do that well on our own; we need the Holy Spirit as a guide (Gal 4:4-7). If we allow the Spirit of God to remain in us, he will lead us safely to the will of God for us.

Remember that the will of God for us is good. As the first reading tells us, he desires to bless us with peace, protection, illumination, graciousness and kindness (cf. Num 6:22-27). May these be our inheritance and lot in this year and beyond through Christ our Lord. Amen.

I wish you a very happy new year of new life and great favours. Peace be with you.

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