Sunday 01 January
Mary, Mother of God
Entrance Antiphon : Cf Is 9 : 1,5
Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King, who rules heaven and earth forever.
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
First reading : Numbers 6:22-27
The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: 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 uncover his face to you and bring you peace. This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’
Psalm 66(67): 2-3, 5, 6, 8
R/ O God, be gracious and bless us
O God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us. So will your ways be known upon earth and all nations learn your saving help.
Let the nations be glad and exult for you rule the world with justice. With fairness you rule the peoples, you guide the nations on earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. May God still give us his blessing
till the ends of the earth revere him.
Second reading: Galatians 4: 4-7
When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave anymore; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.
Gospel Acclamation: Heb 1: 1-2
Alléluia, alléluia! At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. Alléluia!
Gospel: Luke 2: 16-21
The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child, they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told. When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.
Prayer over the offerings
O God, who in your kindness begin all good things and bring them to fulfilment, grant to us, who find joy in the Solemnity of the holy Mother of God, that, just as we glory in the beginnings of your grace, so one day we may rejoice in its completion. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Communion Antiphon: Heb 13: 8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Prayer after Communion
We have received this heavenly Sacrament with joy, O Lord: grant, we pray, that it may lead us to eternal life, for we rejoice to proclaim the blessed ever-Virgin Mary Mother of your Son and Mother of the Church. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
At the beginning of the New Year, the Church celebrates the Motherhood of Mary. The Council of Ephesus declared that: “If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the Holy Virgin is the mother of God (Theotokos) (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God became flesh), let him be anathema.” The confession of Mary being the mother of God does not occupy a doctrinal niche of its own but pertains to the doctrine of Christ and elsewhere of the Church, of which she is seen as the archetype. Since the Child born to Mary is true God, she who bore the true God incarnate is the true mother of God. Paul affirms this in the Second Reading: “When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman”. That woman is Mary. As the shepherds in the Gospel hurried to Bethlehem and found Mary, we should also hurry this year with our different intentions and demands to entrust them to our mother Mary so that she can channel them to Jesus.