Sunday January 1
The Word of God sets our hearts on fire
  • Numbers 6:22-27
  • Psalm 67: 2-3,5-6,8
  • Galatians 4:4-7
  • Luke 2:16-21

In today’s first reading we see Moses hearing the voice of the Lord, and being instructed to declare that word to Aaron, who in turn must declare it to the people. When Aaron declares it to the people, God will act from heaven and supernatural intervention will occur.

How important it is to hear the voice of the Lord! Be it hearing it directly from the Lord or from one who has heard it from the Lord, our hearts are set on fire because of the supernatural element of God acting from heaven. And like Aaron, when we declare the word that set our hearts on fire, God acts from heaven, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit makes the people who hear it, come alive.

In today’s Gospel proclamation, the shepherds who have heard from heaven, convey the word revealed to them to the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. I wonder what was going through Mary and Joseph’s minds at that time. Plucked out from the comfort zone of their home and family at the most inconvenient of times, finding no proper place to give birth, would they have been tempted to ask where God was? Sometimes, the contrast between reality and how I am called to see reality through the eyes of faith overwhelms me. To Mary and Joseph, God sends the shepherds with anointed words, letting them know that God is still seated on the throne despite what they see and feel. A situation that moments ago seemed to be hopeless changes to one of amazement. When we are helpless, down, and overwhelmed, we are called to hear the voice of the Lord declared over us.

The Blessed Mother treasures the words in her heart. She deposits “memory stones” in her heart to remember and see her through difficult times in the future.

In today’s second reading, St. Paul declares a word over us. It is like the word Aaron declared over the people of Israel. It is like the word the shepherds spoke over Mary and Joseph. We are not slaves but sons and daughters of God.

In the parable of the prodigal son, the elder son, even though a son, lived no different than a slave. The father declares to the elder son “all I have is yours”. That is the privilege of a son that a slave does not have. At Baptism, God sent the Spirit of his son into our hearts so that we become his adopted sons and daughters. We can call upon the resources of heaven to impact our world, just like how Jesus the son of God did. Jesus took what we deserved, so that we can have what he deserved. May this declaration make you come alive throughout this new year.

Prayer: Abba Father, guide me throughout this new year. Amen.

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