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Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

My dear encountered couples:

Happy New Year! I know I’m not the first to wish you that, but I want you to know I wish it sincerely. Happy New Year! I hope that this year is one of your finest. And that you will have many, many more to follow.

I also hope that you take advantage of this year. That you use it to become an even better person than you already are, that you use it to make the lives of other people happier than they are. The year will probably go fast, just like last year did. Those in their golden years often remark about how fast time goes. They‘ve found that no matter how many years we have, even 100, our lives here on earth seem short. And we all know we waste a lot of it. But we aren’t going to let that happen this year, are we?

We start 2020 by honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God. By her acceptance of the will of God as revealed to her by the angel Gabriel, Mary began a new era for all of humanity. “Be it done unto me as you say,” was her response. That would be a good response for all of us to start not only this year with, but each day. “May today be according to your will, Father,” could be our first words when we wake up in the morning

Mary is not only the Mother of Jesus, she is also our mother. And as I am sure she had a lot of advice for Jesus as he grew, she also has a lot of advice for us. I imagine that some of these things would be among her advice:

“My children. Do not waste your time this new year in worthless efforts to pursue earthly treasures and pleasures. Your time on earth is short, it passes quickly. You are a child of God. Get to know him and love him. Be assured his love for you is always unconditional. He loves you when you do good and when you do bad.

“Do not be lax in your faith, my children. Be active. Faith without action will wilt as a plant without water. So water your faith with prayers and good deeds. Treat each other not only with kind acts but also with kind words. Unkind words can often cut as deeply as a knife. Harsh words can injure a person’s spirit as surely as a gun shot can harm his body.

“When you wake up in the morning, my dear children, remember to thank God for another day. Welcome the Holy Spirit into your heart. Ask the saints and angels to be with you all day. I will be with you too if you want me to be. Then resolve to use the day not just as a time for making money, but as a time for growing in the goodness of your character. Plan how considerate and caring you are going to be toward others, how honest and fair you are going to treat others in your business dealings, how forgiving and patient you will be towards those who are not always nice to you.”

That is only some of the advice I imagine Mary tries to give us. Did Jesus listen to his mother when she spoke? Do we? That depends on how interested we are in improving ourselves. May this year be a good one for you. You can be sure it will be - if you listen to your Mother and do what she says. Have a Happy 2020!

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