The New Year is here!! We give God all the glory and honour. The New Year is new, unadulterated etc. New literally means something that is recently created and begins to exist. It is something that is there that was not there previously. New indicates something that is recently developed, discovered, experienced and acquired. It is fresh, original and fresh.
To make everything new means to bring something that is not there to be there. The Year is new, untainted, yet to be experienced, just began etc. We also need to make everything new.
This ranges from our spiritual lives, human relationship, family togetherness, our character etc. When we decide to begin afresh, bring whatever that is lacking in our lives, and remove the old things that are not necessarily working in our lives, we become new. When we bring something new into our lives, we also become new.
The Motherhood of Mother Mary.
In the second reading of today, Paul says that in the fullness of time, God sends His Son to be born of a woman. He is born under the law to redeem those who are under the law, that we might receive adoption as sons of God.
The adoption as sons of God is something new and made possible through the womb of the woman who gave birth to the Messiah.
Therefore, Jesus was born to recreate us new again. He has come to bring us salvation. This then was made possible through the Mother Mary who served as the earthly vessel to carry Jesus in her womb.
Therefore, the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to the source of salvation. She gives birth to the source of our new creation. Therefore, to make things new, we have to go through her.
A Little History.
Mary received the title Theotokos (Θεοτόκος) which literally means God-bearer, which in essence means the One who gave birth to God.
The logical interpretation is that if Jesus is God, and Mother Mary gave birth to Him, then Mother Mary is the Mother of God since she is the mother of Jesus, who is God.
This title was declared in A.D 431 by the Council of Ephesus as a correction to the Nestorian heresy who were of the view that the human and divine persons of Christ are separate. The Council corrects this, that in Jesus is the union of His divinity and humanity. We cannot separate any from Him. So, Mary is the Mother of God since Jesus Christ is God made flesh as John says In John 1:14.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
“The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that He is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is God and a true man. During the first centuries, the Church had to defend and clarify this truth of the faith against the heresies that falsified it.” (§464, CCC)
Some biblical proofs of Jesus as God and hence Mary to be the Mother of God can be gleaned from below
1. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth calls Mary the Mother of My Lord. (Luke 1:43)
2. To explain the identity of Jesus, John says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1), •
3. When the Jews are in doubt on who He is, Jesus says to them “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8:58) •
4. In John 20:28, Thomas exclaimed My Lord and my God. (John 20:28)
5. Paul says in Philippians 2:6 that though Jesus is in the form of God. He does not count equality with God. He only emptied himself to take the form of a servant•
6. Paul also says in Colossians 2:9 that the fullness of God dwells in Jesus.
Her Acceptance brings Something New.
Mary’s acceptance to become the mother of the Messiah sets a new era of salvation. So, It is no longer a time of God’s anger and punishment like we saw in the Old Testament but a time of grace, redemption and love.
Therefore, something new came through the Blessed Virgin Mary in His son Jesus Christ. In essence, if we are truly interested in making things new into our lives, the presence of Jesus and His mother should not be lacking in our spiritual relationship.
What We Need Most in this New Year.
In the first reading, Moses gives Aaron an injunction on how He is to bless the people of Israel. He is to bless them, praying that God continues to bless and be with them, show His face continually on them, have mercy, turn His face and countenance on them again, give them peace, and hence bless their children by invoking His Name.
These are essentially what we need. Therefore, with God’s presence, blessings, mercy, and grace upon us, we are sure to come out victorious, challenge our challenges etc. Therefore, what we need essentially from God is the grace to live. Once we have life, there is always hope for survival.
This year, we are also praying for the blessings of life, favours, health, open doors, upliftment etc. We are also praying that He forgives us our sins, to have mercy on our pasts and relieve us of any punishment due to sins.
These can only be possible through His grace. We are praying that He shows us His face again. When God walks with us, when He is our Shepherd, the impossible can become possible, we would not fear anything, we would stand strong despite the opposition against us.
As God makes Everything New.
As God makes everything new, also we have to make some efforts and make them manifest. God gives the grace, and hence we have to act by His grace. He gives you life, not for you to waste it again for another year but to make things out of it.
Therefore, It is time to decide to make your life better. He brings opportunities to you, be aware of them when they come and make good use of them. This is not the year to be lazy again. Today, decide on what to do and find a way to begin.
God shows His mercy always, let us also embrace it in fullness and be close to our God. It is time to ask Him for the forgiveness of our pasts. We cannot enter the New Year, still contaminated with our past.
Forgive all that offended you and refuse to bear grudges. The sins, grudges and unforgiveness of the past year have to be buried with it. We must be newer than we are before. Our relationship with God has to improve. Our character and the human relationship has to change for good. The way we approach life has to improve.
As God makes things new, our families should not continue to live in enmity and quarrelling. We need to create peace where there is none. Our government has to better the lives of her citizens.
The New year is already a message for everyone to make things new. Just Like the Blessed Virgin Mary tried to be with Her Son from birth, wedding at Cana, at the foot of the cross (John 19:26) and even at the birth of the Church during the Pentecost (Acts 1:14) which show her maternal care, the government that sees herself as the mother hence should be close to the people they serve and know their worries and problems and hence try to solve them. We need to be going forward and not backward. As God makes things let us also make things new.
Hence, we pray for more life, grace, protection, wisdom, blessings of God in every ramification in this New Year. The Year is now pregnant. We do not know what it will give birth to. But with God and through God, we shall always come out Victorious. May God see us through Amen.
30 pieces of Advice for the New Year 2022.
1. Put God first in all you do. Give God His rightful position and you will experience His mighty presence always in your life.
2. If you are a Catholic, make out time with the Blessed Sacrament, pray the rosary often. I bet you, you will begin to see great changes in your life.
3. Do not be a prayer warrior by mouth but inside you are evil, wickedness, hatred, envy, jealousy etc. By our fruits we shall be rewarded at last.
4. Do not be envious of the person who is successful today. It could be your turn tomorrow. And the person you fight today may help you tomorrow. Do not block their progress, you may also block yours.
5. Life is not all about pleasure and material gain. All these end in this world. Do not forget the soul, remember that one day we shall leave. Remember the soul.
6. Never live with bitterness or grudges. Settle the case immediately and free your heart. God loves the pure in heart.
7. Prayer is a spiritual thing. Man is also body and spirit. Feed your spirit just as you feed your body. Make prayer a habit.
8. Never treat anyone bad. The table always turns. What you do today you may reap tomorrow.
9. If you have any opportunity to do a genuine charity, do not think twice. Love covers multitude of sins. The hospitality of Abraham to unknown angels in Genesis 18 became His answered prayer.
10. Before you join in killing and maiming the name and personality of someone, hear his own side of the story. Hearsay is always destructive.
11. You are what you are to save lives and touch souls. You are not in any position to intimidate others. What you are and what you have God made it possible.
12. In all the 24 hours you have in a day, give one to your Creator. We must not be busier than God.
13. 2022 is pregnant, no one knows what it will give birth to. Always put your life and everything you do in the hands of God, so that whatever comes, we know, it comes through His approval.
14. Do not enter the new year with problems, guilt, misunderstanding, bitterness and worries of the past. These are poison to the soul. The New year is new. So, Make everything new.
15. Let the presence of God give you joy. So, If you truly love God, being in the presence of Someone you love should give you joy. Quit seeing that as a burden.
16. Seek peace, pursue peace and live in peace. Peace sounds weak but a very mighty weapon. The problems we are having today would not have happened if we decide to seek only peace.
17. Always pray novenas.
18. Do not use God, prayer or church as a camouflage. It will boomerang. God loves the pure in heart, not fake.
19. Never take God for granted no matter who you are. So many mighty men have come and gone. One day we will join the crew.
20. Always forgive. Jesus never asked us not to forgive. He demands more of our forgiveness even.
21. Trust God even when life does not make sense. So, Trust God, even when you do not understand what He is doing. At last you will understand. His time is always the best.
22. Prayer does not mean we should be lazy. Therefore, Think, work and pray your way out has been the greatest secret of breakthrough.
23. Relationship with the Holy Spirit is the best relationship any Christian can have. It is the secret of holiness, spiritual gifts, closeness to God, inspiration, divine favours and everlasting life.
24. As you live your life to make the people you love proud and happy with you, also remember to live a life that your God would love and be proud of.
25. God is not an ATM that we remember only in times of trouble or in moments of need. God needs more of our time. He needs more of our relationship.
26. When you love someone, you would love to study His word. If you love God, take time and study His word always. Everything is in the word of God. It is the secret of wisdom.
27. When you have problems or when you encounter great challenges, it is not a time to lose faith or question God. It is a time to pray harder and work harder. Therefore, Hard challenges need hard work and more prayers.
28. Always request the blessings of your parents. If you like tell them to lay hands on you and bless you always. Their prayers for you can open doors of blessings you do not expect. Never treat your parents bad. Honour to them is the only commandment God attaches a condition.
29. Make out time to meditate and think. Great ideas come through it.
30. Therefore, Do not remember God only in moments of difficulties. If He is our Father, then He should be a part of our lives.
We say Thanks to God and Happy New Year to You.