Happy New Year! Welcome to 2022! Today, January 1, is a day that offers much to celebrate. Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Mary was the first apostle to her Son. She said “yes” to God’s invitation to become the Holy Mother of God without reservations. This day celebrates the eighth day of the Octave of Jesus’ birth. Mary stands at the foot of the cross with her Son. Her strength is enormous. Today we pray in thanksgiving to Mary, our spiritual mother, to assist us with the challenges we face in this new year.
Today, also, we commemorate World Day of Peace, which was established by Pope Paul VI in 1968. The Pope asked that “every year, this commemoration be repeated as a hope and as a promise, at the beginning of the calendar which measures and outlines the path of human life in time, that Peace with its just and beneficent equilibrium may dominate the development of events to come.” Each year has a specific theme, chosen by the Holy Father.” (Ordo 2021-2022, p. 108)
How can we celebrate this holy day? Here are a few suggestions:
- pray for your own Mother, your Godmother and your Grandmothers
- set up a peace centre somewhere in your home
- sing a song to Mary, Mother of God
- pray the Rosary, alone or, if possible, as a family
- make amends with a family member or someone in your life with whom you experience conflict
- bless your children for the new year ahead
Let us pray…
Mary, Holy Mother of God, we celebrate your generous “yes” to God’s invitation. Teach us to be open to the nudges that God has for us. Our world has so many needs and we have been gifted with creativity and innovation.
On this World Day of Peace, peace needs to take root in our hearts, in our families and among our friends; then, like a ripple in water, peace will move gently outward to places where it is desired.
Mary, you knew the experience of a refugee. Remind us to extend hospitality and warmth to refugees who are settling near us. May the peace of Canada, which we may take for granted, be a welcomed grace to their lives. Amen.
Pat Carter, CSJ is a disciple, a teacher and an advocate for the poor. She has been a Sister of St. Joseph for more than half of her life and loves to use words to inspire faith and laughter. She is a cantor at her parish of St. Jerome’s in Sault Ste. Marie.