Ever since December 25, we have been celebrating Christ's birth. On the last day of His octave, we honor His Mother. There is much to contemplate on this day — it's the day of Christ's naming, it's a day to pray for peace and it's the start of a new year of grace.
No matter how late you may have stayed out celebrating New Year's Eve, remember that January 1st —the Solemnity of Mary — is a Holy Day of Obligation. As the New Year begins, look at Mary as a model for renewed Christian life: in her openness to the Holy Spirit, her radical assent to God's will for her life, her patience through suffering, and her willingness to bring the Savior into the world. Those are all qualities that would make any of us better people in the coming year.
Today is also the World Day of Peace. Reflect on Pope Francis' words for the World Day of Peace by going here to read No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters.
Bishop Farrell has also shared his thoughts about Pope Francis's letter, and the new year, on his blog at BishopKevinFarrell.org: