(One of my new year's resolutions is to try to write a short reflection after every mass I attend for 2009.)
[Mary the Queen; 8 p.m. (anticipated)]
On the First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27 It's sad and ironic to hear the Israelites mentioned in the first reading, given the on-going turmoil in the middle east. Being more exposed to American media and analysis in the past, I've always been more than willing to give the Israeli government the benefit of the doubt. Yet... it's hard to see how the current offensive can be justified (as opposed to understood): Barack Obama has compared it as answering rocket attacks to his home, but I don't see how one is justified in retaliating to this by a missile that kills the innocent along with the guilty (if he's lucky).
On the Second Reading: Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 Wasn't quite sure what "Abba" meant so I did a little research. it apparently means "father" in Hebrew. In that case, I don't understand what "Abba Father" means...
On the Gospel: Luke 2:16-21 Not to argue against Catholic tradition and feminist inclinations, but it's always bothered me somewhat that St. Joseph gets such short shrift in the Gospels. Mary is Mother of God because of her relation to Jesus... Surely that makes St. Joseph Father of God in the same way? Is this just not recognized because somehow it would dilute or confuse the doctrine that God was the Father of Jesus? Yet is God not both Father and Mother to Jesus? I sort of envisioned Jesus being created solely by God, not using Mary's DNA or chromosomes but simply making a body for Jesus, with Mary bearing him in her womb. That of course makes Mary's involvement with the child - like all mother's - more intimate than St. Joseph's, but surely not enough to warrant such a disparity in their veneration?
On the Homily: The priest mentioned the current situation in Gaza (thankfully), and linked that sad state of affairs with the fact that January 1 is World Peace Day. The rest of the sermon was a little vague and scattershot, but he spoke clearly and exhuded the simple, gentle faith that is so magnetic in a priest, so it was alright.
Other Notes: I find it ironic that the final song was "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent. I sincerely hope that people who sung it/heard it took the time to think long and hard about the message of tolerance and acceptance in that play, and contrast it with the party-line of the Church on homosexuality.