Mary, the Mother of God, 2015
Num.6:22-7; Gal.4:4-7; Lk.2:16-21
On the first day God created the cow. God said, “You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves, and give milk to support the farmer, and I will give you a life span of sixty years.” The cow said, “That’s a kind of tough life, you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty years, and I’ll give back the forty.” And God agreed.
On the second day God created the dog. God said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years.” The dog said, “That’s too long to be barking. Give me ten years, and I’ll give back the other ten.” So God, with a sigh, agreed.
On the third day God created the monkey. God said, “Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I’ll give you a twenty year life span.” Monkey said, “How boring: monkey tricks for twenty years? I don’t think so. Dog gave back ten; so that’s what I’ll do, too, okay?” And God agreed again.
On the fourth day God created man. God said, “Eat, sleep, play, and enjoy life. Do nothing, just enjoy. I’ll give you twenty years.” Man said, “What? Only twenty years? No way, God. Tell you what, I’ll take twenty, and the forty, cow gave back, and the ten, dog gave back, and the ten monkey, gave back. That makes eighty, okay? “Okay,” said God. “You’ve got a deal.”
So that’s why for twenty years we eat, sleep, play, enjoy life, and do nothing; for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain our grandchildren; and for the last ten years we sit in front of the house and bark at everybody!
The human life of Jesus begins with Mary. Therefore, it is appropriate that we begin the New Year with the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. Since Mary is the Mother of God she is the mother of joy, joy to the world. So the traditional greeting on this first day of the New Year is one of joy: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! How many times did you hear that today? How many times did you give that same greeting to others? Was it just a conventional greeting or was it a real wish? In other words is it really possible to find happiness in the New Year?
Most of us have some kind of watch on our wrists. And maybe somewhere at home in some drawer there are a few more watches: dress watch, sports watch, diving watch, automatic watch, analogue watch, digital watch, etc. Whatever it is, all of us have at least one watch, or some kind of time piece. It only goes to show how important time is in our modern lives.
Yesterday, if we were celebrating some kind of “count-down”, then we would have seen how the last few seconds of last year ticked away into history and into the New Year. And this morning we are looking at the 365 days ahead, and we are here at Mass asking God for His blessings in this New Year as we offer to the Lord. And today is also the 8th day of the Octave of Christmas, and the Church dedicates this day in honor of Mary under the title of “Mother of God”.
Mary is indeed instrumental in the whole story of salvation, because as we heard in the 2nd reading: When the appointed time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. Yes, Mary was there at the appointed time, at the appointed moment, and she was available to carry out the will of God.
So as we welcome the first day of the New Year, we also need to be prepared for the appointed time when God will come into our lives and reveal Himself to us. Well, let’s say on this first day of the New Year, you win a prize! And these are the details of the prize: Each morning your bank will deposit $86,400.00 into your private account for your personal use.
However, this prize comes with rules just like any game has certain rules. The first set of rules would be this:
- The money that you do not spend at the end of each day would be taken away from you.
- You cannot simply transfer the money into some other account.
- Only you can spend it.
So each morning when you wake up, the bank opens your account with $86,400.00 for that day. The second set of rules is this:
- The bank can end the game without warning. At any time it can say, “It’s over, the game is
over!” 2. It will close the account and you will not receive a new one.
So with $86,400 what would you want to do with it? You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and your friends as well, right? Even for people you don’t know you would also want to spend it on them, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?
You would try to spend every cent, and use it all, right? Well actually this game is about life! Each of us is in possession of such a “magical” bank. We just don’t see it. THE MAGICAL BANK IS TIME! Each morning upon awakening, we receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.
What we haven’t lived up to that day is forever lost. Yesterday is forever gone. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time……. Without warning. Well, what would you do with your 86,400 seconds? Aren’t they worth so much more than the same amount in dollars?
In fact they are worth much more. So as we begin this New Year, and as we look at so many days ahead, let us look at one second at a time, one moment at a time. Together with Mother Mary, let us offer each second and each moment of every day to the Lord so that He will bless it and make it holy, so that every moment of every day, we will be loving and peaceful and joyful. So as we move on from this moment, may I quote the formula for blessing from the 1st reading:
“The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you, The Lord look upon you kindly, And give peace! (Num.6:24-26) OR
“May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover His face to you and bring you peace.” Amen.