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January 01, 2023

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Num 6: 22-27

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Bless and Be Blessed!

One task I especially love as a new priest is laying hands on folks who ask me for a blessing. The blessing I give most often is today’s, from the book of Numbers, usually considered the oldest recorded priestly blessing in the Bible. We don’t find many written prayers in Scripture meant to be repeated— another example is the Lord’s Prayer— but I cherish the Triune spirit of these generous instructions from God to Moses on how best to bless our sisters and brothers. 

God loves to bless us! What better way to start a new year than by invoking God’s name and asking to be blessed? And perhaps we might do a little blessing ourselves, including those whom we find it hardest to pray for: people who have hurt or injured us in some way. Blessing people who have harmed us can be a powerful first step toward forgiveness. Consider blessing from your heart today someone who it might feel too difficult to forgive directly for now. 

And may the good Lord bless you with safety, good health and peace in the New Year! 

—Fr. Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a priest of the West Province who was ordained at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee last June. He currently resides and works in Seattle, Washington.

 

Prayer 

Dear Lord,
In your mercy, bless me.

Bless my friends and family.
Bless those I find it hard to bless myself. 

Let your face shine on me this New Year!

May your plans for mending and peace
Continue to unfold in our troubled world.

Give me the graces I need to be a
Better blesser myself, and a
More committed peacemaker.

Bring peace to the nations.
Bring peace to our homes.
Bring peace to my own heart.

I thank you, Lord, for all you have
Done for me throughout my life.
I thank you for your blessings I’ve seen
And the blessings I know I’ve missed.

Thank you for everything you do for me still.

I adore you, Creator of All!
I praise you today and every day
Until I may praise you face to face.

Thank you for your mercy and kindness.
Thank you for your abundant blessings.
Thank you for loving me.

—An adaptation of today’s psalm by Fr. Joe Kraemer, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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January 01, 2023

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Num 6: 22-27

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Bless and Be Blessed!

One task I especially love as a new priest is laying hands on folks who ask me for a blessing. The blessing I give most often is today’s, from the book of Numbers, usually considered the oldest recorded priestly blessing in the Bible. We don’t find many written prayers in Scripture meant to be repeated— another example is the Lord’s Prayer— but I cherish the Triune spirit of these generous instructions from God to Moses on how best to bless our sisters and brothers. 

God loves to bless us! What better way to start a new year than by invoking God’s name and asking to be blessed? And perhaps we might do a little blessing ourselves, including those whom we find it hardest to pray for: people who have hurt or injured us in some way. Blessing people who have harmed us can be a powerful first step toward forgiveness. Consider blessing from your heart today someone who it might feel too difficult to forgive directly for now. 

And may the good Lord bless you with safety, good health and peace in the New Year! 

—Fr. Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a priest of the West Province who was ordained at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee last June. He currently resides and works in Seattle, Washington.

 

Prayer 

Dear Lord,
In your mercy, bless me.

Bless my friends and family.
Bless those I find it hard to bless myself. 

Let your face shine on me this New Year!

May your plans for mending and peace
Continue to unfold in our troubled world.

Give me the graces I need to be a
Better blesser myself, and a
More committed peacemaker.

Bring peace to the nations.
Bring peace to our homes.
Bring peace to my own heart.

I thank you, Lord, for all you have
Done for me throughout my life.
I thank you for your blessings I’ve seen
And the blessings I know I’ve missed.

Thank you for everything you do for me still.

I adore you, Creator of All!
I praise you today and every day
Until I may praise you face to face.

Thank you for your mercy and kindness.
Thank you for your abundant blessings.
Thank you for loving me.

—An adaptation of today’s psalm by Fr. Joe Kraemer, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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