A new day has begun, which also starts a new year . Another year of our lives has passed. Perhaps because of this, a reflection has come to us on how we have lived this year. For some, it was a time of joy and success , for others, this year may have been filled with moments of sadness and suffering. However, we all look to this new year with hope, even though we do not know what the immediate future holds. We have come to live in difficult times. Because of this, we do not know what will befall us in the new year that is just beginning. However, we do not enter this new year with fear, but we are filled with hope that the difficulties will finally come to an end and our plans and dreams will be realised. We begin the new year with the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God. Mary is the Gate through which we enter this new time.
For Mary is the One who wishes to surround us with her protection.
It is this kind of help from the Blessed Mother that we need today. That is why we come to church today to ask her to intercede for us in this new year. In the Litany of Loreto we say: ‘ Gate of Heaven – pray for us’. We refer to Mary by this title for several reasons. Firstly, because she gave birth to the only-begotten Son of God. Her body became the Gate through which Jesus came into the world. Mary is also the Gate to Heaven, because she is the mediator between us and her Son Jesus. She is that Gate through which God grants us His graces. Mary is the Gateway, which is why we do not stop at her alone. She leads us to the manger, to the Newborn Christ. We come in the new year seeking help and support from Him. That is why we stand today full of hope. We need this hope so much today. The world-famous band ABBA once recorded a song entitled. “Happy New Year”. Among other things, the song’s lyrics read:” No more champagne
And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you
Feeling lost and feeling blue
It’s the end of the party
And the morning seems so grey
Now’s the time for us to say…Happy new year May we all have a vision now of a world where every neighbour is a friend.” We set out today on the uncertain trails of the new year. Therefore, let us ask the Holy Mother of God to guard our faith, hope and love. May she transform our hearts so that every neighbour becomes our friend. Let us wish each other health, joy, love and prosperity. Above all, however, let us wish each other God’s blessing every day.
That Our Lady may keep us in her protection. That we may live in friendship, with God and waste no opportunity to do good in this new year. Amen.