Daily Bible Reading - January 1, 2024

Daily Bible Reading - January 1, 2024
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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

January 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; World Day of Peace

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 67: 2-3, 5, 6, 8 (2a): May God bless us in his mercy.

1st Reading: Num 6: 22-27

Then Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and say to them:

This is how you shall bless the people of Israel; you shall say: May Yahweh bless you and keep you! May Yahweh let his face shine on you, and be gracious to you! May Yahweh look kindly on you, and give you his peace!

In that way shall they put my name on the people of Israel and I will bless them.”

2nd Reading: Gal 4: 4-7

But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son. He came, born of woman, and subject to the law, in order to redeem the subjects of the law, that we might receive adoption, as children of God.

And because you are children, God has sent into your hearts, the spirit of his Son, who cries out: Abba! that is, Father! You, yourself, are no longer a slave, but a son or daughter, and yours is the inheritance, by God’s grace.

Gospel: Lk 2: 16-21

So they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough. On seeing him, they related what they had been told about the child; and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.

As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the angels had told them.

On the eighth day, the circumcision of the baby had to be performed; he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

REFLECTION:

"Let there be peace on earth..."

We welcome another year in our journey of faith. While celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Catholic Church also celebrates the World Day of Peace, an annual celebration that started in 1968.

The establishment of universal peace is part and parcel of the mission of the Church. We begin our yearly journey of faith as we read and reflect on the biblical sense of peace, shalom, which is not merely the absence of conflict but one which refers to the fullness of life.

This is what the Aaronic Blessing or Priestly Benediction found in Numbers 6:24-26 conveys. When this shalom is given us, the Lord’s favor is turned toward us, blessing and keeping us now and for the rest of the year.

We are being blessed and kept by the Lord so that we may also be, like Mary, the bearer of his Son in our world that up to now longs for true peace.

Today we ask the Lord that this whole 2024 will be replete with his shalom, and that we may become the very instruments of his peace. “Let there be peace on earth,” as the song goes, “and let it begin with me.”

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