Daily Gospel Reflection for January 1, 2017 - Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God


Today’s Gospel: Luke 2, 16-21


In 2013, we heard Pope Francis suggest to the priests of our world that they should be like “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.” Today, as we begin a new calendar year with a reading from Luke’s gospel, I am contemplating my own role as shepherd. I love to imagine when I read this portion of the infancy narratives what it might have been like to be one of them, that ragtag group that received the angelic message of Christ’s birth.

I would have run, sheep in tow, to the side of the manger.

I would have wiped away happy tears, feeling blessed to see with my own eyes what had so long been foretold and prophesied.

And I would have reluctantly pulled myself from that spot near my Messiah and his parents, imagining with great excitement how to tell everyone I knew about what I’d seen and heard and felt.

In truth, you and I can relate not only to the shepherds in Luke’s recounting of this moment, but also to our Blessed Mother, who received their visit and “pondered” what all that was happening to her might mean.  Today, as we celebrate Mary, we are called to follow her example too! We give God our “Yes” as she did, but we also often keep things “in our heart” as family members, quietly praying for those around us.

Today, as I begin to imagine all that is to come in 2017, I will pray to be part shepherd, part Mary. I’ll pray for the excitement and energy and courage to tell everyone I know about the Christ child and how much he loves us. But I’ll also huddle close to the manger as Mary did, quietly adoring his precious face and praying for what I know is to come. I’ll ask for the grace to give my own “fiat” to the challenges, trials and moments of persecution which will surely be a part of striving to love this Messiah.

I’ll pray to learn to live with the smell of the sheep and to lead my little flock ever closer to the God of infinite love.


As I begin a new year, how is God calling me today to live out my Baptismal call to be priest, prophet and king? How can I follow Mary’s lead in making time each day to ponder the movement of God’s love in my life?


Blessed Mother, as we celebrate your life today, help me to grow ever more deeply in love with your son Jesus, to follow his teachings and to share his mercy with those I encounter each day.


Copyright 2017 Lisa M. Hendey


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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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