January 1, 2023 – New Year; Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/010123.cfm)
God bless. GBU. God bless you. In our world of social media, easy for us to hear & say, to send & receive these words. God bless you. But what does it mean? How do we understand it?
Usually, we use these words to express what we really mean as “May God bless you” – which implies that God is the one who gives blessings, at the same time we do hope that God will grant you & me the blessings you & I need or expect from Him now.
God indeed grants us His blessings. However, we must never forget that His blessings are given TO us but also THROUGH us. When Jesus gave his blessings to the people, he does not only assure them of God’s blessing but preach to them that God’s glory and blessing may be fulfilled through them. The poor, hungry, weeping, hated, rejected, insulted are fortunate & blessed – not only because they receive but also they reveal & share God’s blessings and graces to others. Meaning, God grants everyone his blessings by making you, me, us and others not only receivers but also sharer and giver of blessings. In as much as God is the author of our blessings, by our words and actions, we can also be agents of God’s blessings to others. In other words, we are BLESSED to also bless others.
Our readings today are all about blessings. St. Paul describes how blessed we are for thru Jesus we have now come to recognize God as Abba, our Father. And in our gospel today, Mary recognizes not only how blessed she is and we are through her child Jesus, but she cherishes all these graces as she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” in order to share this very blessings to others. And lastly in the first reading, the Lord teaches us how to bless others.
Meaning, we should be grateful, for we are blessed, and should cherished, savor, and ponder our blessings in our hearts. At the same we must learn how to give and share our blessings to others. Blessings are ours to joyfully receive and celebrate, at the same time blessings are ours to give & share with others.
Here also we must remember that God’s blessings are not only “yet to come” but are “here and now”. It is not only a promise but a reality. It is His gift to us now, not only the reward that we expect, wish and need from him, for what we receive from Him is more than just what we need and expect from Him. And usually, it comes as a surprised Gift – beyond our expectations. As a text message I once received say:
God’s blessings may come as a surprise and how much we receive depends on how much our heart can believe. May you be blessed beyond what you expect.
As we begin a new year in our life with the Lord, We must then be a sacrament of God’s graces – an instrument and sharer of God’s blessings to others by our good words and deeds, and be more concern as to how we can be instruments of His blessings for this year to be.
Another year of Blessing is about to begin (has begun). We greet each other not only with a Happy New Year but a Blessed Year ahead. May God bless me. God bless You. God bless us, as He has already blessed us always now & forever.
Nawa’y pagpalain kayo at tayo ng Panginoong Dios. Kabay na bendisyonan kamo kag kita sa Dios sa gihapon. Amen.