A reading of the holy Gospel according to Luke 2:16-21

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.

REFLECTION: "he was named Jesus"

According to Jewish custom, on the eighth day, the male child is presented at the temple and is circumcised.

Mary's newborn child is given the name Jesus. Jesus means, "the Lord saves". It signifies His mission and His identity. God alone can forgive sins and save us from death. And His eternal Son, Jesus, became a man to offer up His life as the atoning sacrifice to save His people from their sins. We became adopted children, heirs to heaven. And Mary, the Mother of God, is our Mother as well.

What love God has for us that He designed a plan to save us from death. And it includes giving us the gift of His grace, His favor and His peace. The Virgin Mary, whom today we venerate her with the title of Mother of God, helps us contemplate the face of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

We have seen for ourselves how powerful the name of Jesus is. Throughout the Bible we have seen demons flee, the blind see, lepers cleansed, deaf hear, cripple walk and dead people arise at the mere mention of the name of Jesus.

Do we want the Spirit of Jesus in us? The divine name of God incarnate is given to us to call out to God, our Creator, in our frailty and weakness begging for His mercy.

It is the simplest way of praying. Patiently and with a humble heart, we hold fast to the Name of the One who saves.

Together and without ceasing, say the simple Breathing Jesus Prayer (BJP).

Breathe in,.....say: JE-SUS

Stop: hold your breath, hold Jesus

Breathe out,.....say: MER-CY

Stop: stay silent and listen. Allow the Spirit of God to find rest in you.

Repeat as many times as you want. God never tires of hearing from us.

God Bless You!

Happy New Year!!

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