New Year Blessings

The new year is a time to reflect on the blessings of one’s life and how we can grow in blessing others. Moreover, it is ultimately a celebration of a new year to render our hearts and lives as a sacrifice of praise to the Lord, a blessing through grace. 

Blessing from Above to those on Earth

God’s final words to Abram before He changed his name to Abraham were, “I will bless you, and I will make your name great so that you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2-3). God speaks the same to all of us who follow in Abraham’s faith footsteps: “be blessed, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2-3). 

God gives His people the power of blessing. He gives it to the priest, Aaron, and his sons (Numbers 6:22-27). In Jewish tradition, it is the Birkat Kohanim (priestly blessing). It follows a specific divine instruction about spreading hands upon the people, with fingers shaped like the Hebrew alphabet shine ש, signifying Shaddai. It suggests a blessing that comes from the God of heaven (Shaddai). In other words, God looks with compassion on His people below, giving them blessings from His transcendent presence. Finally, God gives them words to announce the blessings of the Word to His people. 

Furthermore, at the fullness of time, the Word becomes flesh through a Woman (Galatians 4:4-7) by the singular design of God. The Woman becomes the epitome of human perfection, being Theotokos, God-bearer, God’s mother. Through her, God looks kindly on all of His creation, giving us the blessing of salvation by the birth, death, and resurrection of her Son, Jesus Christ. We have a human reference point for this blessing of God. God comes in the form of man so that we can participate in His life. This truth is an unmerited blessing and grace. 

Be a Blessing

Therefore, we have every reason to give thanks and every cause to be a blessing to others.

Begin with yourself. Recall many times when it seemed impossible to see the greener light or a hopeful future in the past year. Yet, you are here today to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Therefore, count it a blessing to share in the life that would flourish by God’s grace in the coming weeks and months. 

Look around you and see your neighbor as a blessing. In the good Samaritan parable (Luke 10:28-37), the Lord Jesus tells us who the neighbor is. It is not only family, members of our tribe, or club, close friends or business partners, but any person you meet and anyone that crosses your path. 

Likewise, look up and see the blessings that come from above. Look down to see the blessings you have to give to others who look up to you. Count it as a blessing to be an intercessor, blessing others by praying for them. Look up to the Lord who is blessing you with His presence and power, blessing you with answers to your prayers, blessing your life even in times of danger, distress or perplexity. 

Also, look around you at all the good gifts God has given you—the blessing of life, family and friends, health, peace, and security. The blessing of the Eucharist and rest, and the blessing of the sacraments of healing.  

Bless Others 

Here are some ways to bless others. You can bless others by blessing their lives with your time and talent: through teaching or mentoring them; blessing their minds and hearts through good books and other inspiring media resources; blessing their bodies by sharing the blessing of health that comes from a proper diet, exercise, and rest. 

Finally, you can bless God by blessing His people. Be an encourager to one who is discouraged. Be an advocate for one who needs your support and a mentor or spiritual guide for someone in need. Also, won’t it be wonderful for you to be the solution when others look to you in their moment of need? 

I offer you the following priestly blessing from Numbers 6:22-27. Special blessing today is for the gift of yourself. Also, it is for who you are to your family and friends, our ministry, and the world.

The LORD bless you and keep you!  
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!  
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! Amen. 

God love you. God bless you.

[Readings: Numbers 6:22-27; Galatians 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21]

Fr. Maurice Emelu

Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria and the Founder of Gratia Vobis Ministries. An assistant professor of communication (digital media) at John Carroll University, USA, Father Maurice is also a theologian, media strategist, and digital media academic whose numerous works appear on television networks such as EWTN. As he likes to describe himself; “I am an African priest passionately in love with Christ and his Church.”


  1. Radhika Sharda on January 2, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    I loved this reflection, Father Maurice! What a beautiful way to start the new year. I shared it with a couple family members yesterday. I pray we may all practice being a blessing to others around us, in all the ways you described. Thank you and God bless.

  2. Giulia Balsano on January 1, 2022 at 6:47 am

    Thank you sooo much for all you do in Jesus Name through the Spirit everyday I look forward and am inspired I also send your Scripture reading to all my children and ten grandchildren and to friends and family and always get a response of gratitude have a healthy safe and always a presence of the Spirit thank you Jesus

    • Fr. Maurice Emelu on January 1, 2022 at 6:54 am

      Thanks for your kind words and for sharing. May God continue to bless you, your children, and your grandchildren. Amen.

  3. Jerry Todd on January 1, 2022 at 1:28 am

    Very timely and a real blessing. Thank you

    • Fr. Maurice Emelu on January 1, 2022 at 6:52 am

      Thanks and God’s blessings for the new year.

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