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Draw strength from your blessings

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God, our God, has blessed us.
                --Psalm 67:6

In the first liturgical reading for New Year’s Day God tells Moses to share a beautiful blessing with the Israelites. Moses is to say the them: “The Lord bless and keep you, make his face shine upon you, be gracious to you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). These are marvelous words that we could speak to our friends and loved ones, as well as to ourselves on this January first.

The Gospel also speaks of being blessed by God. Mary felt deep gratitude for her experience at Bethlehem. God blessed her with a healthy son. Visitors were in awe of her child. Angels glorified God at his birth. Mary treasured the blessings and pondered them in her heart. Mary’s blessing would be her strength during the difficult events of the future.

As we enter a new year we, too, are called to ponder the blessings of our past year and to praise God for the treasures which are ours. These blessings can be our strength in the new year. Let us turn off the TV for a while, stop the noise of our life for a few minutes, and remember the ways in which God has brought us peace.

Mary, Mother of Jesus,
teach us how to ponder our treasures,
how to draw strength from our blessings,
as we journey into this new year.

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