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New Year Blessings

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2013!

Did you have fun last night? Are you feeling OK today? I did. I am. I enjoyed some good snacks and drinks in the company and hospitality of some friends and family I love. It was a good way to start the new year.

This morning I woke up and before I even got out of bed pulled up on my phone app the following reading for today:

“The Lord said to Moses: “Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”” (Nm 6:22-27)

Later this morning I went to morning mass for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and the same reading was read at mass.

The pastor’s sermon was focused on a very simple message that we simply forget to do often enough: Send out blessings.

Blessings are prayer requests for God’s favor upon another.

The feast day had me thinking about mothers too.

Mothers are a blessing. I know mine is. My grandmother was too. They both always knew how to send out blessings and how to be a blessing to others.

My mom is the best. I don’t know what I would do without her. I can imagine the loving bond that must have existed between Jesus and his Mary because I have that too. And because I do, I can imagine, feel and experience the sense of the unconditional love God has for each of us and share it with my children and all others as well. I owe so much to my mom. She is a wonderful inspiration and model to me still.

Her mom, my grandmother, was a special lady too, and well loved because she knew how to bless everyone who knew her. She made those who met her feel important, special and loved like no one else I’ve ever known.

While I was at mass, I found myself praying for some people who were sitting in front of me. I was praying for one couple who I’m friends with who have been wanting a child but who for apparently medical reasons have not yet had any, and asking that God please considering blessing them with a child to share their love with. There was also a man who has a troubled marriage and life and I found myself praying for him that he be blessed with love and peace in his home. I thought of the painful struggles of these friends, and knew I was not alone with my own. And we were all at mass today, on New Years Day, hearing the same messages about blessings together.

Praying to ask for blessings on others is free, easy and heart-warming. It also helps you get outside of your own needs and hurts and see those of others around you. Look around and you will see others who are hurting, worried, afraid, and full of despair. And you will also find others full of compassion, kindness, generousity and love. I find that most of the latter are ones that pray. That’s why I was in church today praying for strength for myself and for blessings for others who I love.

Praying for the blessing of others is a good thing. Being a blessing to them is even better. I stopped by to talk to my friends on the way out and let them know I care. Being the hands and feet of Jesus in this world and spreading his love is an awesome responsibility and feels so good in return. Acting to give tangible substance to a blessing is a double blessing because it not only helps another, but is good for your soul and makes you feel good in the process too.

I imagine that’s why mothers are so loved. They pray for blessings for their children, but also put their love into action and do things that bring those blessing to them. And doing so makes them feel good to be acting in God’s love so they keep on doing it. That’s why we love them so.

The Lord bless you… and yours, in the coming year and always. And may you experience in the new year how sending out blessings to others, and acting to be a blessing to them, ends up being a blessing to you.


One Comment leave one →
  1. January 2, 2013 7:25 pm

    Great post, Ed. Thank you for reminding us of what’s really important. It’s too often forgotten. When I’m at work, as soon as I start working on my first patient, I pray. I pray for my needs and concerns, I pray for my patients and their private struggles and I pray for anyone hurting or suffering. My favorite prayer is the Memore. It’s almost hypnotic when I repeat it over and over. It really helps me get through the day-especially tough days. oh, I’ve also been known to gab A LOT to my patients, hahah!!

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