Pope Francis at Angelus on January 1, 2019
Jesus is the blessing for each and all
At the Angelus on New Year’s Day – the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God – Pope Francis reflected on the the traditional blessing given in the first reading from the day’s liturgy.
The image of Mary holding Jesus in her arms was the starting point for Pope Francis in his reflection for the Angelus on the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. “In this way, showing us Jesus, the Saviour of the world, she, the mother, blesses us,” he explained. “She blesses the journey of every man and every woman in this year that is beginning, and that will be good precisely in the measure in which each one will welcome the goodness of God that Jesus came to bring into the world.”
The most ancient blessing
The Holy Father turned to the first reading from the day’s liturgy, which gives us the “most ancient blessing” used by the Israelite priests to bless the people: “The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The LORD turn His face to you and give you peace.”
The Pope explained that in the Bible, “the name represents the very reality that is being invoked,” so that in this blessing, the invocation of the name of God – “LORD” – means offering God’s “beneficial strength” to those who receive the blessing.
The "face" of God