Father Ian VanHeusen presents a gospel reflection and spiritual exercise on the Mass readings from the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1st).

We invite you to watch Father’s video, then prayerfully read the Gospel and reflection. We pray that this might help you in your apostolate, your family, your classroom, or personally… to prepare for and more deeply experience Sunday’s Mass, and to better integrate the Sacrament and the readings into your daily life.

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3 Things that the BVM shows us about being a disciple:

1. We must allow Christ to dwell within

Mary is the mother of God. She gives birth to Jesus. We too must allow Christ to dwell within. When we receive Jesus, He comes to dwell within us too. Our task is to allow that divine fire within to overwhelm us and to well up within us and teach us how to better receive and listen to Him.

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2. We must surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit

Monday’s 2nd reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians discusses adopted sonship. Through grace, we share in Jesus’ relationship with the Father. The Blessed Virgin Mary shows us what this means from a creaturely standpoint. Let us consider the moments from her life when she surrenders to the Holy Spirit and allows that reality to take hold her heart. How can we follow her example? Through our own prayer and through her intercession.

3. We must be a contemplative

“Mary took all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Meditating on Christ’s life, we must take that mentality to heart and again follow Mary’s example. We get so busy with the world, so consumed with the cares of life, that we don’t take time to reflect on Christ and His work in our life. We don’t slow down and quiet down to pray, including with Our Lady. Let’s make time, a plan, and a commitment to do this in our own lives.

A reading (2) from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians (4:4-7)

Brothers and sisters: 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.

The Word of the Lord

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (2:16-21)

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Gospel of the Lord

Follow Fr. VanHeusen at http://ianvanheusen.com


Photo credit:  guspoza / cathopic