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Happy New Year! Join Mary in Glorifying Her Son!

January 1, the beginning of the New Year, we Catholics, begin with Mary, the Mother of God. On the first day of these 365 days, the Church places Mary in front of us with the special title – Mother of God. In everything she did, Mary led people to glorify her Son for the salvation he would gain for them. For centuries and millennia, Mary was a sure and clear sign for Christians, pointing out her son. In fact, on many paintings she is literally portrayed in this way. The image of Our Lady of Czestochowa (Black Madonna) that is in our church’s chapel, presents such a gesture: Mary holds the child Jesus in her left arm and her right hand is pointing out her child.

The Church’s presentation of Mary with the title “Mother of God” on the first day of the New Year is obviously connected with Christmas, which we celebrated a week ago. It also is an invitation to try to shape our lives on her life. She never lost her faith, she never lost hope, and she was continuously growing in love. She experienced similar troubles and hardships in life like we experience. She did not know what will happen in her life. She became a widow, and finally she lost her beloved Son. But always she trusted God.

As we enter the New Year, we too, do not know what this new year will bring. But as Christians, we trust God that He will lead us through all in the coming days and months. We believe that He will be close to us and that He will not allow us to lose hope in difficult moments. We believe that he will help us to grow in faith, hope, and love in this New Year as we experience the beauty of His gift of our life.

In the first day of this New Year 2023, echo Mary in saying:

“My soul proclaims your greatness, Lord! My spirit rejoices in you, my Savior!”

Wishing you and your families a blessed and grace-filled New Year!

Fr. Mark Jurzyk