You may have noticed that in liturgy the event of Christmas, the birth of Christ, is so important that we celebrate each of the following eight days after Christmas as Christmas... the Octave of Christmas.
For many people, Christmas is over except for all the sales but that is not true for us.
In the Gospel that we will hear, it was the shepherds who first brought the news that the one that is born will bring to each of us the gift of eternal life. Death is overcome.
Shepherds were not the intelligent, were not the elite, were not the rich, but were the poor, uneducated, who first announced the eternal good news. All who heard this news were amazed.
You and I have been given eternal life and all because Mary said yes to God.
That in itself seems amazing. She willingly undertook the challenge to become the mother of God.
In the first reading from the Book of Numbers, we hear that God wanted to bless the Israelites even after all their doubts and all their turning from God so many times in their history. Moses was instructed by God to tell his brother Aaron, that His people were to be blessed. We hear that blessing in this reading. That blessing is also each of us.
God is always wanting to bless us, to forgive us, to give us the news of eternal life, that same news that the shepherds brought to the human race.
In the second reading, Paul writes to the people of Galatia whom he had catechized because they were beginning to have their doubts and fears.
He gives them courage to face the struggles they were having and to not believe the doubts that some were trying to plant in them. They had been chosen; they have been called by name, they were to call God
That is also true for each of us today. God continues to want a close relationship with each and every one of us.
A relationship that always brings God's love and forgiveness when we ask for it.
As we continue through life and the days ahead in this new year, I hope and pray that this great event of Mary saying, "Yes, be it done according to your will", can give us courage in those times when we doubt, when we feel attacked, when we wonder if God is really there for us.
We are Children of God!
Let us pray to be able like Mary to say yes to God... Our Father
in the struggles, the doubts, the difficulties
that will come our way too.