“He was named Jesus”

It’s a week since we celebrated the birth of Jesus. In Luke 2:16-21, we find it may be time to start the new year with a fresh perspective.

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

As with the birth of our Lord, we have turned a new corner. Happy New Year.

It is a week since we celebrated the birth of the Christ Child, and in this reading we note the “Octave Day of Christmas” and the “Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.”

Here, the shepherds have visited Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child and revealed what the angel of the Lord had told them. Remember that Mary and Joseph have themselves been visited by the angel of the Lord and been told about the Christ Child, who is now in their care. After eight days and His circumcision as is the Jewish custom, Mary and Joseph faithfully carried through with Gabriel’s instructions and named the Christ Child Jesus.

All things are now new. God is among us as the Christ Child, God becoming man. He has a human name. He will live as we live, in all but in sin. He will even die a human death. It’s a new day.

Take this New Years Day to reflect on this new relationship that God made with us through the birth of His Son and the birth of a new calendar year and how it can give us a new relationship with others and in our lives. I always look on New Years as a time to start over. I like to forget past slights, forgive the past year’s transgressions, push back last year’s failures or missteps (mine or theirs), and move forward into the new year fresh. It’s better to forgive than to re-grieve, to recast an idiom on giving. And we have Jesus to use as an example, who forgave those who crucified Him on the cross.

Some people like to make New Years resolutions. Perhaps one to consider is to use this day to begin anew, to give others another chance or to at least have a fresh perspective. Happy New Year to you and yours.

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