My Dear Sisters and Brothers! As we gather on this first day of 2016 when some people are still fast asleep or even struggling to remember what day is today, we turn again our attention to that day of Jesus’ birth when as St Luke tells us “the shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph - by the way can you see that Joseph is included in the Christmas picture? – and the Baby lying in the manger.” However today, on this eight day since Jesus’ birth, the Church also amazes on the birth of the Mother of God. Mary’s Motherhood began with the conception of the Only Begotten Son of God. The birth of that Son revealed that her Motherhood was to be extended to all who by Baptism were to be Jesus’ brothers and sisters. If we call her our Mother, as we do it so often and so affectionately, we do so because of her conceiving and giving birth to the Son who was God. Each one of us can say that our mom is 2016 and despite the age she is still a full time mom who takes care of us her children with the same love and tenderness she took care of the Child she bore in Bethlehem. The very fact that we have the Christmas stories it means that Mary shared those stories with the Evangelists. She didn’t keep them to herself as her private memories. On the contrary what she witnessed and lived, what she believed and treasured in her heart she offered that all to us as the best Christmas present ever. The memories of that Christmas time she treasured for our sake so that we may be drawn to the things invisible, so that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit she was filled with by witnessing those events of salvation which began taking place when Gabriel announced to her she would give birth of the Son of God.
I started this homily with a school story; I’ve got another one for you. This time we are visiting grade 2. A math teacher is interrogating a boy: “Imagine this situation: you have got 10 dollars and you ask your mom to give you 10 dollars. How much money will you have?” “10 dollars” answers the boy. The teacher raised her eyebrows and says: “You don’t know your maths Jimmy.” “You don’t know my mom Miss.” - answers Jimmy.
My Dear Friends! As we enter this New Year we tell everyone that we have a mother who knows us well. She knows what is good for us and what can lead us to wrongdoing. As followers of Christ we know that she knows us well. May she who watched over Jesus continue watching over us. May we always treasure the belief that we have a mother who knows us well.