A reading from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 6:22-27)
“They shall put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them…”
The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron and his sons, thus you shall bless the sons of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you: The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the sons of Israel, And I will bless them.”
The word of the Lord
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6 and 8
R/. O God, be gracious and bless us
O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth and
all nations learn your salvation. R.
Let the nations be glad and shout for joy,
with uprightness you rule the peoples;
you guide the nations on earth. R.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
that all the ends of the earth may revere him. R/.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians (Galatians 4: 4-7)
“God sent forth his Son, born of a woman.”
Brethren: When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA: Hebrews 1: 1-2
Alleluia. In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 2: 16-21)
“They found Mary and Joseph, and the baby . . And at the end of eight days, he was called Jesus.”
At that time: The shepherds went with haste to Bethlehem, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
The Gospel of the Lord.
It’s a big AMEN to the blessings given to us by God through Moses as we begin the New year, 2021. We celebrate this day in the Octave of Christmas with gratitude to God for the gift of the New Year and dedicate the year to Mary, Mother of God, whose solemnity we also observe today. As her adopted children in Christ, we celebrate her today even as she assures our families and us of her motherly intercession throughout the coming year. As her children, we must allow the virtues that endeared her to God inspire our lives, words and actions, throughout this year. Through her intercession, may Moses’ blessing be our special gift for the New Year. And so, may the Lord, indeed, bless us and keep us. May the Lord let his face shine on us and be gracious to us. May the Lord uncover his face to us and bring us peace. Amen.