MARY, MOTHER OF GOD S (Octave of Christmas). Holy Day of Obligation.

Nm 6: 22-27 One of the most important aspects of the character of God that we need to remember is that he always desires the best for us, each and every one of us; he always desires to bless us in our endeavors. We do not deserve his unmitigated kindness but that is of no account to him – he gives it to us anyway! As we begin the New Year let us resolve to be open to the truth of his many blessings in our lives and be grateful for them all.

Holy Spirit, give me eyes to see and a heart that understands the ways in which God blesses me. Let me be forever grateful for each one of them.

Gal 4: 4-7 Again, we hear of God’s blessing for us, this time of his Son sent to be our redeemer. Perhaps one of our greatest sins is our blindness to the many blessings God bestows upon us. Perhaps a good way to begin this year would be to pray for the grace of gratitude, particularly as concerns the blessings of God for us. True gratitude is the sign of a person who truly understands the depths to which we are beholden to others for their goodness to us, especially to God!

Holy Spirit, fill my heart with gratitude for all the many good things God has done for me.

Lk 2: 16-21 Another sign of gratitude is the willingness with which we reflect upon the good things of God in our lives and acknowledge properly their origin. A part of gratitude is the willingness with which we respond to another’s goodness. There is an old saying: “One good turn deserves another.” This is at least a partial understanding of what gratitude is. Are we willing to respond to God’s many blessings in our lives? If so, how?

Holy Spirit, grant me the grace of a generous heart so that in all I receive I will be willing to show my gratitude by giving in return.