Feast of Mary, Mother of God


We often hear the words "bless" or "blessing" in religion. What technically is a blessing? One major dictionary explains it as, "something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity". In the religious sense, it is a prayer that God will confer this happiness, etc. on someone. Moses gave this right (or rite) to his brother, Aaron and his priestly descendants.
Certainly it is appropriate to seek God's blessing at the dawn of a new year. But its use in today's Mass has a special meaning. Mary was called "blessed... among all women" by the angel. The manner of this blessing was that she gained an intimacy with God held by no other.

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© 2000 by Father Richard Lonsdale
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Paul gives a stunning interpretation of the Incarnation. The spirit-Son-timeless God entered into time and these dimensions to act as a link with another world. Through him we are adopted by God as part of the divine family. Before this we were simply slaves trapped in a limited existence from which there could be no escape except death. Through Mary we are joined to Jesus and to the Father. Paul uses the affectionate "Abba" or "papa" of a little child to revel in the fruits of the birth of Christ.

God sent his only son born of a woman so that we might receive adoption


For many centuries, the Church celebrated the feast of the Circumcision on January 1. Less attention was paid to the physical aspects of the operation than to its connection with the naming of Jesus. It was also seen as a parallel to Christian baptism. Some cultures, including Jews and Moslems, maintain the necessity of the rite. It is surgical removal of all or part of the foreskin on males. It is thought to insure fertility and has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of certain kinds of cancer.
Among Jews it takes place eight days after birth and is normally done or witnessed by a Rabbi. It marks the man as a Hebrew and heir to the promises made by God to Abraham who was told by God to have it done.

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