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New Year's Day and a Mother (Prayer - Novena)

New Year's Day and a Mother (Prayer - Novena)

At first thought, there does not seem to be much in common between the beginning of a New Year and a mother. Yet if you reflect more deeply they are forever linked together. It is the gift of a mother, her femininity, vocation, sacrifice and bond with us that brings each of us into this world. There is no other way we can arrive except through this beautiful union. Every one of us, including the Son from God, begins life on earth in exactly the same way.

On New Year's Day, the Church celebrates the great Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the liturgical feast that defines Mary's role in salvation history as "Theotokos," Mother of God. It was over four hundred years after the birth of Christ that this doctrine was declared, arising originally from the Eastern Churches, who celebrated this pronouncement much earlier in their liturgical prayer life. 

When we begin a New Year, most of us make resolutions to change in some fashion or another. We vow to lose weight, exercise more, pray more, work less, work more, have more fun, have less fun, be more serious, or any one of a myriad of unrealized goals we wish to conquer. We're looking for a fresh start, renewed possibilities, the chance to grow into better persons. 

uganda-mother_childThe Savior Son is born of a woman, selfless and totally available to God, to bless and dignify women forever, and complete our Creator and Redeemer's will and plan. (Photo: Asha Trawinski)

In a word, that fresh start sums up the Church's reason for this day's celebration. God has sent One from himself, promised for generations, to give all of humanity, and each one of us individually, a fresh start, the chance for a "do-over" - his gift of reconciliation, forgiveness, and mercy, so we can live in right relationship with him. The Savior Son is born of a woman, selfless and totally available to God, to bless and dignify women forever, and complete our Creator and Redeemer's will and plan. 

As we count our blessing and challenges of this past year, we look forward with renewed hope in the opportunities possible in this New Year. Pray that some of these opportunities include the ability to be more like Mary - to make ourselves and our service available to God, to discern his will for our life and others, to be an instrument of cooperation in his plan for our world. 

One honorable way to be part of these graces and blessings is to enter into a relationship with one of our CARITAS children in our child sponsorship programs. Both of you will receive a fresh start, new blessings and beginnings, and you will genuinely be an instrument of God in his plan to lift up humanity in greater dignity and purpose, in your love and care for your child, extending the light of our Savior to raise up our world, one child at a time.