Mary, Mother of God + World Day of Prayer

Source: My Catholic Life

We celebrate several things on January 1 each year. In the liturgical calendar, we acknowledge the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Saint (Pope) Paul VI established World Day for Peace in 1968. And, of course, it’s still the Christmas season. Finally, January 1 is New Year’s Day in many parts of the world.

I would suggest that the attitude of Mary, the Mother of God, is one we can benefit from adopting. Luke reminds us today that Mary treasured all these things – concerning the mysterious events surrounding her son’s birth – reflecting on them in her heart.

That’s a pretty good way for us to enter 2022. Is there something that it’s good for me to ponder? Many of us have a tendency to react to situations, rather than respond with discernment and patience. A kneejerk reaction to bad news – whether in self, family, friends, national crises or global issues such as COVID and its variants – usually lacks the discernment that is helpful.

Perhaps a good way to approach bad news is by initially taking a few moments to reflect and consider what’s in my heart, and then to speak from that place.

Regarding World Day of Peace, Paul VI asked that, “every year, this commemoration be repeated as a hope and a promise, at the beginning of the calendar which measures and outlines the path of human life in time, that peace with its just and beneficent equilibrium may dominate the development of events to come.”

World Day of Peace has a special focus each year.

The Vatican announced that the title of the Pope’s message for 2022 is Education, work and dialogue between generations: tools for building lasting peace. In its news release, the Vatican stated that,

“Pope Francis thus identifies three vast contexts today in full mutation, to propose an innovative reading that responds to the needs of current and future times, inviting everyone ‘to read the signs of the times with the eyes of faith’, so that the direction of this change awakens new and old questions with which it is right and necessary to be confronted”.

The communiqué offered a few questions for consideration.

Does work in the world respond, more or less, to the vital need of humans for justice and freedom?

  1. Are the generations truly in solidarity with each other?
  2. Do they believe in the future?
  3. Do governments succeed in setting a horizon of peace in this context?

The annual message does not appear to have been released yet.

Today’s First Reading offers a suitable blessing for us as we start the civic year. Perhaps it also helps all of us to approach this new year with peace.

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 you peace!”

Philip Shano, SJ has many years of rich and varied experience working with Ignatian spirituality: teaching, writing and using it in his ministry. He resides in the Jesuit community in Pickering, Ontario.

  • Bernice Khan
    Posted at 05:41h, 01 January Reply

    Happy and blessed new year, Fr. Shano.

  • John Montague
    Posted at 07:44h, 01 January Reply

    Blessed New Year Philip.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 10:23h, 01 January Reply

    Thank you Philip!

  • suzanne renaud
    Posted at 13:50h, 01 January Reply

    Thank you Father Shano.

  • Peggy Spencer
    Posted at 00:20h, 03 January Reply

    As always, thank you so much Fr. Philip for your words of Wisdom. A very happy and blessed New Year to you and all at iGnation.

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