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 January 1, 2024 

The Octave Day of Christmas Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Saint of the day

Mary, Mother of God (1st century)

Catholics have a special devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. We do not worship her or pray to her as God, as some people mistakenly believe. But we do honor her as the mother of God, and at times we ask her to approach Jesus with a special need or concern. She is the only person besides Jesus who was born without original sin, and at her death we believe she was taken up directly to heaven. But Catholics wouldn't believe any of these things about Mary if we did not first believe that she was the first follower, the first disciple, of Jesus. Her "yes" to the Archangel Gabriel in the Gospel of Luke (1:26-38) made it possible for Jesus to come into the world. In the Gospel of John, Mary is the first person to believe that Jesus can work miracles, at the wedding feast of Cana (2:1-11). . . . Mary is the mother of all believers. And Mary was present at Pentecost (Acts 1:14), receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and without a doubt she was very active in spreading the Gospel message about her Son. What an amazing woman! What trust she had in God, what heartache she suffered on account of her Son, and what faith she had in Jesus and his message. Mary is a model for all who wish to follow Jesus more closely. She is our loving and patient mother, and we do well to honor her and ask for her prayers on our behalf--she will never turn a deaf ear to our requests. (Taken from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.")

Reflection

Today we celebrate the beginning of a new year and focus on the mother of Jesus, Mary, the human being who said "yes" to God and helped to change the world. Let us resolve to be like Mary, to say a heartfelt "yes" to bringing Jesus into our world every day of this year. (Taken from “Good News Day by Day: Bible Reflections for Teens.”)

Prayer

Dear God, as this year begins, help me to follow in Mary’s footsteps each day. Let me resolve to be all that you have called me to be, and help me to live as your child each day. (Taken from “Good News Day by Day: Bible Reflections for Teens.”)

Liturgical season information

Lectionary: 18

Place in Year: Christmas

Color of decorations and priest's vestments: White

Daily readings

Reading I: Nm 6:22-27

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

Reading II: Gal 4:4-7

Alleluia: Heb 1:1-2

Gospel: Lk 2:16-21

View complete readings on USCCB.org
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