The Octave Day of Christmas
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
January 1, 2010
May God be gracious to us and bless us; may God’s face shine upon us. (Psalms 67-2)
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God. (Galatians 4:4-7)
The shepherds went in haste to
From the depths of my heart I thank You, Dear Lord, for Your infinite kindness in coming to me. How good You are to me! With Your most holy Mother and all the angels, I praise Your mercy and generosity toward me, a poor sinner. I thank You for nourishing my soul with Your Sacred Body and Precious Blood. I will try to show my gratitude to You in the Sacrament of Your love, by obedience to Your holy commandments, by fidelity to my duties, by kindness to my neighbor and by an earnest endeavor to become more like You in my daily conduct. (Found at Catholic Online.)
Ever wonder why the Bible is so repetitive? It can seem mindnumbingly so at times. Chronicles in the main summarizes Samuel and Kings. Many of the Gospels tell the same stories and parables. In today’s readings, we see an almost verbatim restating of Numbers in Psalms 67.
Logically, much of the repetition comes from people writing at different times for different audiences. But I like to think much of it also comes from God knowing we need to hear things more than once, and sometimes in different forms. The more we hear the concept, the more likely we are to absorb it. The more we absorb the concept, the more likely we are to incorporate it into our lives.
It’s the same thing with all those resolutions that we made starting today to exercise more, eat less, pray more, gossip less, give more, argue less. In some cases, we’ve made the same resolutions for years. But hopefully, But maybe each year we get a little closer to the goal, a little closer to being freed of our slavery, self-imposed or otherwise. If we don’t give into despair, practice can make perfect.
So what’s God trying to tell us with all that repetition? Maybe it’s as simple as today’s readings: We’ve been ransomed. We are adopted children of God, who loves us beyond our understanding, who wants nothing more than to shine His face upon us and bless us.
And maybe, this year, we can all come a little closer to being freed of self-doubt and suspicion and accept the Good News. Practice can make perfect.
Show someone it is difficult for you to love just how God’s face can shine upon him or her.