Sunday 1 January
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Numbers 6.22-27
Psalm 66
Galatians 4.4-7
Luke 2.16-21

The Church’s year began nearly six weeks ago on the First Sunday of Advent, but the calendar year begins today, and perhaps that is why we are given the great blessing of Aaron as our first reading. It would certainly be appropriate to use this blessing today – an ancient blessing to begin a new year. Paul is not making any specific comment about the role of Mary when he writes to the Galatians, but he does remind us that while we continue to celebrate the Christmas season, we are celebrating the way in which we have – all of us – become heirs with Christ. The gospel is a continuation of the Christmas story, and gives us something important to hold on to for today’s feast. We are told that the shepherds repeated all they had been told and people were astonished, but Mary ‘treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.’

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