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Mary, Mother of God_Jan 1

29 December, 2009

                                  We have two sets of homily notes to choose from. 
                                             Please click on the one required.

1 Kenneth Payne, What shall I say Year C

2 Thomas O’Loughlin, Liturgical Resources for Year C (Luke) 



Kenneth Payne,
What shall I say Year C

Mary, the contemplative one amidst all visitors

Liturgical Text:
‘As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered thetn in her heart.’ (Gospel)

Homily Notes:
 1. It is appropriate that we begin the New Year with the feast of Mary, th~first member of the church, the first to believe in her Son, Jesus. This is why she is included in the Vatican IT documel1fon the church.

2. Shepherds were despised by the orthodox Jews because they cou1dn’t~eep all the laws and rules. However, they may have looked after the lambs to be offered in sacrifice at Passover … Shadow of the cross in the crib … they glorified and praised God.

3. Mary pOndered it all in her heart. Have we really allowed the wonder of the incarnation to penetrate deep in us, pondering on it?

4. The name of Jesus means ‘Saviour’, God with us, not in the past nor the ~ture, but now, today, the beginning of the year, and every day to come. Let us look and recognise Jesus in the Eucharistiin one another and especially the sick and poor.


A. Beneathcthe statue of Mary in a church in Switzerland is writ­ten: ‘Sarida Mater Ecclesia’ (Holy Mother Church).

B. She is ‘the woman of our race who supremely achieves our vocation’


Thomas O’Loughlin,
Liturgical Resources for Year C (Luke)

Homily Notes

1. Today is a new start for so many things: it is the beginning of a new time, it offers us new opportunities, it is a time of start­ing afresh, it is a time of new resolution, it is a moment to let go of the past. lhese are among the most basic themes of all human ritual.lhere is some sort of new year festival found in every religion: we have only to think of the Akitu new year festival of Babylonians which has left its imprint on the Old Testament, the great stone-age burial mound of Newgrange in Ireland which celebrates an annual solar event and thus marks a new year, or the fact that while in our society many wonder about the appropriateness of Christian ritual for Christmas, no one doubts the need for rituals for new year. lhe ‘notion of renewal, or starting over seems to be deep within us and we need to celebrate it.

2. This notion of the need to be able to start over, to letby-gones be by-gones is precisely what we celebrate as the redemption Christ has won for us. He comes to us with the offer of his forgiveness, with the possibility of a new start, are-birth.
This is why the basic Christian ritual is baptism: the past is over, life begins afresh. This is the same renewal that lies at the heart of Christian forgiveness and the Sacrament of Reconciliation: the past is dead, we can begin anew.

3. The birth of Jesus was a fresh start for the whole of humanity: that is why we Christians started counting the years from that time just over two thousand years ago.
4. Just as we want to start over today in so many ways, the Lord offers us the opportunity to start over afresh in lives through his forgiveness. He offers us the loving hand of his friendship at each gathering at his table. He offers us the strength and grace to walk towards the good in our new year’s resolu­tions.
5. For many people on this day, that the past will remain past and that a fresh start can be made is just a deeply held desire that may be Simply the assertion of optimism over experi­ence; for Christians the forgiveness and new beginning we all need is the very heart of the good news of Jesus the Christ.