Mary, the Mother of God – World Day of Peace

Call to worship

Today, we celebrate the beginning of a new year. We honor Mary the Mother of God And we pray for peace in our world.

  • To the point: What are the things Mary reflected on in her heart? Both marvelous events such as the angelic message relayed by the shepherds, and the painful circumstances such as a birth in a stable. Mary grappled with both sides of the mystery of Jesus’ birth: the miraculous and the everyday, the joyous and the painful, what was already unfolding and what was yet to be revealed. In all this, she was really pondering the mystery of God’s presence and thus models sublimely how we too can recognize the Word being made flesh and dwelling among us.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 2:16-21) to the second reading: Mary reflects “in her heart” on the mystery unfolding within and around her. This mystery is fully revealed when God pours “the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,” making us children of God.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Once we are beyond the Christmas season, we tend to forget about the importance of the incarnation for our daily living. Mary teaches us that continued active reflection on this mystery is how we are drawn more deeply into its fullness and able more perfectly to live the grace of being children and heirs of God.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 2: 16-21)

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.

Behold the glory of the Lord, uprooted,
homeless, poor shepherds, a manger, a star.
She pondered all these things,
tried to make some sense of their meaning,
mulled them over in her heart,
preserving, remembering, treasuring.
There were no final answers, though.
She searched for and found signs
of the Spirit’s movements.
And that was enough for her.
Oh God, make it enough for us.

The First Reading

(Numbers 6: 22-27)

The Lord looks upon you kindly and give you peace!

God says to us, “I will bless you & keep you!
I will look upon you kindly and let
the splendor of my face shine upon you.
And grant you peace and grace and wholeness!”
We invoke your name, O God.
Look on all of us kindly.
Please bless us, everyone.

The Second Reading

(Galatians 4: 4-7)

God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts.

The same Spirit sent to Mary was also
sent to us. It lives in our hearts and
lets us cry out, “You, our Father, we are your children.”

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection