LK2: 16-21


I often close my text messages and my correspondences with the words: God bless you! It was not an original idea. It was inspired by St Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She used to end all her handwritten letters by writing: “God bless you!” And when someone asked her why, she replied: “Everybody loves a blessing!” Indeed, don’t we all deserve to be blessed by someone?


Each year, we must have noticed this special first reading from the Book of Numbers: God instructs the priest Aaron to bless the people, to shower them his mercy, to channel to them his love, to promise that they will see his face one day. That would be the ultimate, the highest blessing of all – to see the face of God. But in the Old Testament, no one had seen this face and no one ever thought he could endure to see God’s face and live!


To their credit, the poor shepherds were the first to see the face of the Son of God, after Mary and Joseph. Seeing his face in the tiny sleeping infant Jesus, in their hearts they believed. They felt themselves truly blessed. Before they were just shepherds. Now they have come face to face with the Good Shepherd!


Weeks ago, we remembered Mary and Joseph and all the troubles they had gone through. Both of them experienced a period of fear, confusion, and pain before the birth of this Child. At Christmas time, fear gave way to peace, confusion gave way to serenity, and pain gave way to healing. Joseph stopped asking questions in his mind and Mary started to keep things deep in her heart.


This gesture of Mary is the key, the secret, to receive a blessing from above. Keep it in the heart. Receive it with humility. Reflect on its meaning. Cherish its delights. Nurture it and make it grow. Finally, like Mary, share it with the ones who need the blessing most!


We stand at the threshold of another year. We all receive a blessing from God today. The past year, with its failures, problems, and troubles, is over. God offers us a new chance to live, to be healthy, to be fulfilled, to become new. Let us thank the Lord for this blessing, for this grace, for this gift! Like Mary, let us learn to receive, reflect, cherish, nurture and share our love and life as a blessing to others. Like Mother Teresa, let us learn to reverently and sincerely say to others: God bless you!


Happy New Year in the Lord!

#ourparishpriest 2022