From Msgr George Brubaker –
Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish,
New Castle, DE
We began the New Year 2023 by celebrating the Solemnity of Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary’s Motherhood in giving birth to Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The First Word of the New Year was the blessing God gave his people through Moses, Aaron, and his sons. God told Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to say to the people:
“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.Numbers 6:22-26
The light of God’s face shining on his people is the sign of his grace and favor, his peace for them.
God’s shining face reminds us of Moses’ face after he met with God on Mt. Sinai. When he came down from the mountain after forty days and nights his face shone so bright the people asked him to cover his face because it was so bright. When we see God’s face shine on us, then we can shine the same light on one another. We pray in several of the Eucharistic Prayers at Mass that God will let his face shine on our deceased brothers and sisters and welcome them into His Kingdom and His glory forever. God’s face glows with everlasting light.
When we pray that Mary let her Flame of Love shine on us and on all humanity we are praying that God will bless us today with the Flame of Mary’s Love and faithfulness just as He had Moses tell Aaron and his sons to bless the Israelites with the light of His face. The icon of Mary blessing us with the Flame of Love is her praying with the Apostles after the Ascension. She already had the Holy Spirit in her heart and soul and prayed that the Apostles would receive the same outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost so they could bring the Gospel out from Jerusalem into the nations, to let the Spirit of God’s truth in Jesus Christ shine upon all peoples. We need the Flame of Love today to shine on the whole world, on all peoples. That Flame of Love is the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit that brought about the Motherhood of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and the shining of God’s face on all humanity.