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Welcome to our Bible
Study
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
1 January 2014
In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy
In aid of focusing our homily / sharing

Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
1 reading: Numbers 6,22-27
st







22 The LORD said to Moses: 23 "Speak to
Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how
you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them: 24 The LORD bless you and keep
you! 25 The LORD let his face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you! 26 The LORD look
upon you kindly and give you peace!
27 So shall they invoke my name upon the
Israelites, and I will bless them."
1 reading: Numbers 6,22-27
st







22 The LORD said to
Moses: 23 "Speak to
Aaron and his sons and
tell them: This is how you
shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them: 24 The
LORD bless you and
keep you! 25 The LORD
let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to
you! 26 The LORD look
upon you kindly and give
you peace!
27 So shall they invoke
my name upon the
Israelites, and I will bless
them."

Commentary
 Supposedly, the Israelites are still at
the foot of Mount Sinai. Soon they
will be moving to the Promised Land.
Moses is the leader of the Israelites.
He was assigned by God to lead
them out of Egypt.
 In vv.22-23, God instructs Moses to
speak to Aaron and his sons
(priests). When they bless the
people, they should utter vv.24-26.
 In v.27, the Israelites are expected to
acknowledge God, pray to God (to
invoked his name) and God
promises to bless them.
Reflections on the 1 reading
st









When we encounter God’s priests, we are
supposed to hear their blessings.
God’s priests are supposed to bless the people.
Blessing includes God keeping us safe, making
his presence felt, bestowing his graces upon us,
showing his kindness to us and giving us peace.
We should acknowledge God’s blessings.
God will bless us again and again.
Resp. Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8


R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.



2 May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
3 So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.



5 May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.



6 May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
8 May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
Resp. Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8








R. (2a) May God bless us in his
mercy.

Commentary
 V.2 repeats the blessing in the first
reading.
2 May God have pity on us and
bless us;
 In v.3, the psalmist is convinced
may he let his face shine upon us.
that if God blesses his people, his
3 So may your way be known upon
ways and salvation will be known
earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
throughout the world.
 In v.5, the psalmist desires that
5 May the nations be glad and exult
nations be glad because of his
because you rule the peoples in
justice and guidance.
equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.  In v.6, the psalmist desires that
God be praised by all.
6 May the peoples praise you, O
 In v.8, he desires God’s blessings.
God;
may all the peoples praise you!
 In v.8b, the psalmist desires that all
8 May God bless us,
peoples fear (revere) him.
and may all the ends of the earth
fear him!
Reflections on the Psalm






Like the psalmist, we must wish other
people well. We do not curse them, or
wish evil to befall upon them.
We must desire God’s blessings on them.
Our best wishes become our prayer.
We experience God’s blessings when
justice is being done.
2 reading: Galatians 4,4-7
nd



4 When the fullness of time had come,
God sent his Son, born of a woman, born
under the law, 5 to ransom those under
the law, so that we might receive adoption.
6 As proof that you are children, God sent
the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying
out, "Abba, Father!“ 7 So you are no
longer a slave but a child, and if a child
then also an heir, through God.
2 reading: Galatians 4,4-7
nd



4 When the fullness of
time had come, God
sent his Son, born of a
woman, born under the
law, 5 to ransom those
under the law, so that
we might receive
adoption. 6 As proof
that you are children,
God sent the spirit of
his Son into our hearts,
crying out, "Abba,
Father!“ 7 So you are
no longer a slave but a
child, and if a child then
also an heir, through
God.

Commentary
 Take note: the birth of Christ is not just
a simple birth of a baby boy that gives
joy, but signals the fullness of time.
 Fullness of time is God’s time, God
taking hold of us through his Son.
 V.5 indicates the purpose of his birth:






V.6 gives us evidence (proof) that we
are truly God’s adopted children.




to ransom (to pay a high price, not just
to snatch us by stealth) us who are
slaves of the law (Mosaic law)
To adopt us as children of God
We possess the spirit of his Son,
making us able to cry out, “Abba,
Father.”

We are no longer living with a certain
distance from God, but close to him.
Reflections on the 2 reading
nd












We, Catholics, attribute the woman mentioned in
Gal 4,4 to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
We, Catholics, are Marian.
We appreciate the role of the mother of Jesus.
We appreciate Mary’s motherhood.
We must interpret Jesus’ birth as fullness of
time, the beginning of our adoption as children
of God.
As God’s children, adopted through Christ, we
must behave accordingly.
We live in freedom, in the Spirit and spontaneity,
not in legalism.
Gospel reading: Luke 2,16-21


16 The shepherds went in haste and found Mary and
Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When
they saw this, they made known the message that had
been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were
amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in
her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying
and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as
it had been told to them. 21 When eight days were
completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus,
the name given him by the angel before he was
conceived in the womb.
Gospel reading: Luke 2,16-21
Shepherds


16 The shepherds went in haste and found
Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the
manger. 17 When they saw this, they made
known the message that had been told them
about this child. 18 All who heard it were
amazed by what had been told them by the
shepherds.

Mary


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

Shepherds


20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and
praising God for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

Naming and Circumcision


21 When eight days were completed for his
circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name
given him by the angel before he was
conceived in the womb.

Commentary

In v.16, the shepherds hurry to see
the newborn savior as announced by
the angels, when they were
pasturing.

In v.17, they recount what the angel
told them about the child.

V.18 tells of the joy of those who
hear the story.

V.19 tells of Mary’s quiet disposition.
For her, more important is not her
experience of child bearing, but the
identity of her Son.

V.20 tells of the shepherds’ joy for
finding out everything as was told to
them. They went back to work. They
did not linger there.

V.21 describes the Jewish custom of
circumcising and the naming of
Jesus.
Reflections on the gospel reading








Like the shepherds, we must believe what
is announced and seek the joy of
encountering our Savior (in the
sacraments).
Like Mary, we must ponder how God is
intervening in our lives.
Like the Holy Family, we must keep God’s
laws and our sound beliefs and culture.
We must be connected with our people.
Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm







The first reading talks about blessing.
The psalm talks about uttering the
blessings ourselves.
The second reading invites us to celebrate
God’s blessings: being called his children
The gospel reading talks about rejoicing
over God’s blessings.
How to develop your homily / sharing






What is the meaning of New Year?
It is meaningful as long as we make it so.
The world teaches us to explode fire
crackers today.
We, Christians, can make it meaningful
through the readings for this Solemnity.







The first reading suggests that in this New
Year, we utter blessings upon the people.
We wish other people well.
We wish that God shows his mercy upon
them.
We wish that God gives his peace to
them.







We can make this New Year meaningful
by appropriating the psalm.
We make it our own prayer.
We bless God by our words now, in our
liturgical celebrations.
We invite other people and creatures to
bless the Lord.








The second reading contains strong
reasons to bless God in this New Year.
God has made us his adopted children
through his Son, Jesus.
His Son came to ransom us from the
clouts of the enslaving law.
Now, we, as liberated people of God, have
the right to call God “Our Father.”







The gospel reading suggests that we should
bless (praise) God today for sending his Son to
save us.
Like Joseph and Mary, we must keep our sound
and sacred traditions and history.
We must be rooted in our faith.
When we were named Christians at our baptism
and “circumcised,” we were considered to
belong to God’s covenanted people.








For enlightened Christians, New Year should not
be used as an excuse to buy and explode
firecrackers.
It is not an occasion to show off our fireworks
and to terrorize the faithful on their way to the
church.
Their abuses have moved midnight masses to
earlier time. They have even discouraged
churchgoers from participating in the Midnight
mass.
It is not also an excuse to drink a lot of liquor or
to abuse food.








For Christians who are in their right senses, this
New Year, they should instead go to the church.
The parents will lead their children in uttering
praises, blessings and thanksgiving to God, by
using our responsorial psalm and by singing the
“Our Father.”
We take this New Year as an occasion for deep
spiritual experience of God.
Let each home and every corner of our place be
permeated with the odor of sanctity rather than
heavy smell and smoke of gunpowder.






Participation in the eucharist is where we
can best bless God and receive his
blessings.
The eucharist is a sacrament of God’s
blessings to us.
The eucharist promotes the presence of
God and his peace to us.
Our Context of Sin and Grace







Worldly celebration of
New Year (fireworks
and much food only,
no Mass)
No respect for sacred
traditions
No sense of history
No appreciation of
being ransomed







Celebration of the
Eucharist today
Appreciation of being
God’s children
Solidarity with the
poor
Suggested Songs



Ang Pasko ay Sumapit
The Blessing of St. Francis


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Rn9GKWFl0

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New Year 2014

  • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God 1 January 2014 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homily / sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 2. 1 reading: Numbers 6,22-27 st    22 The LORD said to Moses: 23 "Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 The LORD bless you and keep you! 25 The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! 26 The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! 27 So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them."
  • 3. 1 reading: Numbers 6,22-27 st    22 The LORD said to Moses: 23 "Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 The LORD bless you and keep you! 25 The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! 26 The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! 27 So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them." Commentary  Supposedly, the Israelites are still at the foot of Mount Sinai. Soon they will be moving to the Promised Land. Moses is the leader of the Israelites. He was assigned by God to lead them out of Egypt.  In vv.22-23, God instructs Moses to speak to Aaron and his sons (priests). When they bless the people, they should utter vv.24-26.  In v.27, the Israelites are expected to acknowledge God, pray to God (to invoked his name) and God promises to bless them.
  • 4. Reflections on the 1 reading st      When we encounter God’s priests, we are supposed to hear their blessings. God’s priests are supposed to bless the people. Blessing includes God keeping us safe, making his presence felt, bestowing his graces upon us, showing his kindness to us and giving us peace. We should acknowledge God’s blessings. God will bless us again and again.
  • 5. Resp. Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8  R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.  2 May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. 3 So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.  5 May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide.  6 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you! 8 May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
  • 6. Resp. Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8     R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy. Commentary  V.2 repeats the blessing in the first reading. 2 May God have pity on us and bless us;  In v.3, the psalmist is convinced may he let his face shine upon us. that if God blesses his people, his 3 So may your way be known upon ways and salvation will be known earth; among all nations, your salvation. throughout the world.  In v.5, the psalmist desires that 5 May the nations be glad and exult nations be glad because of his because you rule the peoples in justice and guidance. equity; the nations on the earth you guide.  In v.6, the psalmist desires that God be praised by all. 6 May the peoples praise you, O  In v.8, he desires God’s blessings. God; may all the peoples praise you!  In v.8b, the psalmist desires that all 8 May God bless us, peoples fear (revere) him. and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
  • 7. Reflections on the Psalm     Like the psalmist, we must wish other people well. We do not curse them, or wish evil to befall upon them. We must desire God’s blessings on them. Our best wishes become our prayer. We experience God’s blessings when justice is being done.
  • 8. 2 reading: Galatians 4,4-7 nd  4 When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. 6 As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!“ 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
  • 9. 2 reading: Galatians 4,4-7 nd  4 When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. 6 As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!“ 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. Commentary  Take note: the birth of Christ is not just a simple birth of a baby boy that gives joy, but signals the fullness of time.  Fullness of time is God’s time, God taking hold of us through his Son.  V.5 indicates the purpose of his birth:    V.6 gives us evidence (proof) that we are truly God’s adopted children.   to ransom (to pay a high price, not just to snatch us by stealth) us who are slaves of the law (Mosaic law) To adopt us as children of God We possess the spirit of his Son, making us able to cry out, “Abba, Father.” We are no longer living with a certain distance from God, but close to him.
  • 10. Reflections on the 2 reading nd       We, Catholics, attribute the woman mentioned in Gal 4,4 to Mary, the mother of Jesus. We, Catholics, are Marian. We appreciate the role of the mother of Jesus. We appreciate Mary’s motherhood. We must interpret Jesus’ birth as fullness of time, the beginning of our adoption as children of God. As God’s children, adopted through Christ, we must behave accordingly. We live in freedom, in the Spirit and spontaneity, not in legalism.
  • 11. Gospel reading: Luke 2,16-21  16 The shepherds went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. 19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. 21 When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
  • 12. Gospel reading: Luke 2,16-21 Shepherds  16 The shepherds went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. Mary  19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Shepherds  20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. Naming and Circumcision  21 When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Commentary  In v.16, the shepherds hurry to see the newborn savior as announced by the angels, when they were pasturing.  In v.17, they recount what the angel told them about the child.  V.18 tells of the joy of those who hear the story.  V.19 tells of Mary’s quiet disposition. For her, more important is not her experience of child bearing, but the identity of her Son.  V.20 tells of the shepherds’ joy for finding out everything as was told to them. They went back to work. They did not linger there.  V.21 describes the Jewish custom of circumcising and the naming of Jesus.
  • 13. Reflections on the gospel reading     Like the shepherds, we must believe what is announced and seek the joy of encountering our Savior (in the sacraments). Like Mary, we must ponder how God is intervening in our lives. Like the Holy Family, we must keep God’s laws and our sound beliefs and culture. We must be connected with our people.
  • 14. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm     The first reading talks about blessing. The psalm talks about uttering the blessings ourselves. The second reading invites us to celebrate God’s blessings: being called his children The gospel reading talks about rejoicing over God’s blessings.
  • 15. How to develop your homily / sharing     What is the meaning of New Year? It is meaningful as long as we make it so. The world teaches us to explode fire crackers today. We, Christians, can make it meaningful through the readings for this Solemnity.
  • 16.     The first reading suggests that in this New Year, we utter blessings upon the people. We wish other people well. We wish that God shows his mercy upon them. We wish that God gives his peace to them.
  • 17.     We can make this New Year meaningful by appropriating the psalm. We make it our own prayer. We bless God by our words now, in our liturgical celebrations. We invite other people and creatures to bless the Lord.
  • 18.     The second reading contains strong reasons to bless God in this New Year. God has made us his adopted children through his Son, Jesus. His Son came to ransom us from the clouts of the enslaving law. Now, we, as liberated people of God, have the right to call God “Our Father.”
  • 19.     The gospel reading suggests that we should bless (praise) God today for sending his Son to save us. Like Joseph and Mary, we must keep our sound and sacred traditions and history. We must be rooted in our faith. When we were named Christians at our baptism and “circumcised,” we were considered to belong to God’s covenanted people.
  • 20.     For enlightened Christians, New Year should not be used as an excuse to buy and explode firecrackers. It is not an occasion to show off our fireworks and to terrorize the faithful on their way to the church. Their abuses have moved midnight masses to earlier time. They have even discouraged churchgoers from participating in the Midnight mass. It is not also an excuse to drink a lot of liquor or to abuse food.
  • 21.     For Christians who are in their right senses, this New Year, they should instead go to the church. The parents will lead their children in uttering praises, blessings and thanksgiving to God, by using our responsorial psalm and by singing the “Our Father.” We take this New Year as an occasion for deep spiritual experience of God. Let each home and every corner of our place be permeated with the odor of sanctity rather than heavy smell and smoke of gunpowder.
  • 22.    Participation in the eucharist is where we can best bless God and receive his blessings. The eucharist is a sacrament of God’s blessings to us. The eucharist promotes the presence of God and his peace to us.
  • 23. Our Context of Sin and Grace     Worldly celebration of New Year (fireworks and much food only, no Mass) No respect for sacred traditions No sense of history No appreciation of being ransomed    Celebration of the Eucharist today Appreciation of being God’s children Solidarity with the poor
  • 24. Suggested Songs   Ang Pasko ay Sumapit The Blessing of St. Francis  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Rn9GKWFl0