NOTE: All reflections throughout the Advent and Christmas season will be available on our homepage and then archived on our Advent-Christmas 2022 webpage.

The reflection below is from Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Fr. John Rausch from the 2015 Advent reflection booklet, The Promise of Light: Reflections for Advent and Christmas 2015.

by Fr. John Rausch, glmy
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Numbers 6:22-27 | Galatians 4:4-7 | Luke 2:16-21

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. (Lk 2:19)

In Bethlehem of Judea, and later in Nazareth of Galilee, Mary, mother of Jesus, sat reflecting on the past and considering the future. For her, this was a New Year–one filled with wondering and waiting.

She reflected on the 2,000 year expectations for the Messiah. Her son was born and named “Jesus”, which means “savior”. Was he the Messiah, and what would that mean?

Sipping a cup of herbal tea, she gently rocks her son to and fro, and wonders about the future, and waits–as all His disciples do every New Year. We too wonder and wait.

We’re waiting for all nuclear bombs to disintegrate into wild flowers, and for flowers to blossom forth atop hazardous waste dumps.

We’re wondering if Muslims can be treated with respect, and Black people and Jewish people; can we all embrace one another as brothers and sisters?

We’re waiting for all human trafficking to cease and for women everywhere to have full human rights as daughters of God and sisters of every other person.

We’re wondering when humanity will open its eyes to the destruction of God’s garden and pledge to walk more gently as stewards of creation.

We’re waiting for the needy children of Bangladesh to get fitted for eyeglasses, and for every village in Africa to have pure drinking water.

We’re wondering if people of faith can address people in power so they hear the woes of oppressed workers and the cries of the marginalized demanding less inequality and a more just distribution of wealth.

Sipping our Fair Trade coffee, we too sit with Mary to wonder and wait. We know Christ has come, but redemption is not yet complete. The task before us is huge. Still our hearts are buoyant with expectation, because we face the future with Emmanuel, “God with us.”


What are you waiting for?

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2 thoughts on “A reflection for New Year’s Day/Solemnity of Mary/World Day of Peace, January 1

  1. I am waiting for leaders of the church to lead as Jesus would when political leaders, claiming to be Catholic, drop bus loads of immigrants onto the lawns of perceived political rivals in sub freezing temperatures! Maybe they have confronted the offender, but he persists in hateful treatment of other human beings. A public statement about the evils would be appropriate. I am waiting to see how the Holy Spirit is calling me forth for the upcoming year.
    People in power will have their hearts hardened to the cries of the poor. I am waiting for the Lord to break their hearts of stone.

  2. I am waiting for a world in which compassion and mercy are lived out fully eliminating divisions, establishing true peace and exhibiting the reign of God.

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