Echoing the threefold blessing of Aaron, today’s celebration combines three observances: the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; New Year’s Day; and the World Day of Peace. For believers, the first embraces the other two. Mary’s “yes” to becoming the mother of the Son of God brought not just a new year but a new era in human history. And the child to whom she will give birth and whom she will nurture will be Prince of Peace. The young woman of Nazareth is Mother of Peace, the peace of God’s realm in which the power of love prevails.
The week’s prayer focus
As we bid farewell to one year and welcome the next, we look to Mary, a woman of faith, and with her pray for God’s blessing. Holy One, uncover your face for us, let your light shine upon us, and bring us your peace.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns
Dear friends, in the Spirit we have been blessed with the freedom of the children of God. Let us turn to God, our “Abba, Father,” and with Mary’s trusting faith ask for all we need.
- For Pope Francis and all Christian leaders and communities, that like the shepherds of Bethlehem they will gladly proclaim abroad the good news of Jesus’ birth, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For leaders in every sphere of human endeavour, that this World Day of Peace will move them to use their influence to promote a just peace between the nations of the world, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the many millions in today’s world trapped in economic or sexual slavery, especially children, that those campaigning for their freedom will succeed in their mission of mercy, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For mothers around the world, that like Mary, the mother of Jesus, they will wonder at the mystery of new life and cherish each child they are given, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all who have accompanied us with love and friendship in the past year, that they will be blessed for the inspiration and strength they gave us, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all who are anxious or afraid as they cross the threshold of the new year, that they will find reassurance in the care and concern of loving neighbours, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For holiday-makers, travellers and visitors, that their time away from home may be peaceful, safe and refreshing, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For ourselves, that we will always treasure the word of God in our hearts and allow ourselves to be guided by God’s wisdom, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
Gracious God, you make all things new. As we acclaim Mary Mother of God, we pray that you uncover your face for us, let your light shine upon us, and bring us your peace. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Mary’s new-born Son, who is Lord forever and ever.