Mary’s yes to God’s Divine plan brought hope for salvation.

The Octave Day of Christmas Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Lectionary: 18

Reading 1 NM 6:22-27
The LORD said to Moses: 

“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: 

This is how you shall bless the Israelites.

Say to them:

The LORD bless you and keep you!

The LORD let his face shine upon

you, and be gracious to you!

The LORD look upon you kindly and

give you peace!

So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, 

and I will bless them.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.

May God have pity on us and bless us;

may he let his face shine upon us.

So may your way be known upon earth;

among all nations, your salvation.

R. May God bless us in his mercy.

May the nations be glad and exult

because you rule the peoples in equity;

the nations on the earth you guide.

R. May God bless us in his mercy.

May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you!

May God bless us,

and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

R. May God bless us in his mercy.

Reading 2 GAL 4:4-7
Brothers and sisters:

When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,

born of a woman, born under the law, 

to ransom those under the law, 

so that we might receive adoption as sons.

As proof that you are sons, 

God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, 

crying out, “Abba, Father!”

So you are no longer a slave but a son, 

and if a son then also an heir, through God.
Alleluia HEB 1:1-2
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;

in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel LK 2:16-21
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,

and the infant lying in the manger.

When they saw this,

they made known the message 

that had been told them about this child.

All who heard it were amazed

by what had been told them by the shepherds.

And Mary kept all these things,

reflecting on them in her heart.

Then the shepherds returned,

glorifying and praising God

for all they had heard and seen, 

just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision,

he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel

before he was conceived in the womb.

REFLECTION:

FIRST BLOOD

“When the eighth day arrived for His circumcision, the name Jesus was given the child.” –Luke 2:21
On the eighth day of Christmas, we celebrate the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. On the eighth day of His life, Jesus shed His blood for the first time as He endured circumcision. Mary, His mother, would have been the one who nursed Jesus’ wound, repeatedly washing off His blood during the next few days as the infant Jesus healed.
This foreshadows Mary standing at the foot of Jesus’ cross decades later as He would shed His blood for our salvation. Many of you have seen the statue of the Pieta in which Mother Mary holds the dead, bloody body of her Son Jesus. Even after He died, Mary treasured Jesus’ body by cleaning off His blood. During her entire life, Mary was devoted to the Precious Blood of Jesus. This was dramatically portrayed in the movie The Passion of the Christ and in the book by Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Imitate Mother Mary. Devote yourself to the Precious Blood of Jesus in 2017. Receive the eucharistic Jesus in Mass as often as possible, even daily. Commit yourself to frequent Eucharistic adoration. “O, the blood of Jesus. It must not suffer loss.”
PRAYER: Father, “let [Jesus’] blood be on us and on our children” (Mt 27:25).

PROMISE: “You are no longer a slave but a son! And the fact that you are a son makes you an heir, by God’s design.” –Gal 4:7

PRAISE: Praise You, risen Lord Jesus, for making all things new (Rv 21:5). Be praised and glorified in this new year.

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