God Bless You: A Conversation on Blessing

As we begin the new year 2024, I pray and wish you God’s blessing.

We experience blessings in different forms. They range from the daily small things to the grandeur of God’s presence in our midst. However, have you ever thought about what the concept of blessing means? How can we truly experience God’s blessings in our lives? Here, I explore the meaning of blessing and how we can fully embrace it. I also point out why Mother Mary is the world’s most blessed woman.

The concept of blessing has evolved. This Oxford Learners’ definition scratches just the surface. “God’s help and protection, or a prayer asking for this.” (Oxford Learners Dictionary).

Blessings and Changes

Some biblical instances provide us much depth and context to appreciate the concept. Second Samuel 6 presents a sense of what blessing means and its significance in our lives. In recounting the event where David moved the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem, we see how the presence of God in Obed-edom’s house was an incredible blessing for his family. Also, in the Book of Numbers 6:22, God directs Moses on how to bless his people.

From both texts and several other biblical texts, we can say that a blessing is a gift given, a presence embraced, or something (somebody) being marked by God. Blessing in biblical terms relates to God. The Hebrew and Greek usages of the term support this understanding.

The Hebrew word for blessing, bārak (verb), means “to kneel or praise,” or the noun berāḵáh. The Greek eulogia (blessing) is “to praise.” On the other hand, Ranesha’s “The Etymology of bless” suggests that the Germanic languages and Old English usage express the idea of “consecration” in religious settings where blood is used (2014). Such is the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifice as was done in the Old Testament as a mark of imparting a blessing.

One notices how the above view relates to the Oxford English Dictionary description of the term.  The dictionary offers various meanings from Old English to the Middle and current day. But the common theme is “To make ‘sacred’ or ‘holy’ with blood.” These meanings are consistent in various ways in the Bible.

Blessing is Emmanuel

Hence, blessing is God being with or endorsing people or their actions. It is also consecration to God. Also, divine approval is a blessing. The ultimate blessing for us is Emmanuel, God with us. In other words, God taking the human form in the womb of a woman and being born to us (incarnation) is the highest form of blessing on earth. The woman (Blessed Virgin Mary) through whom God chose at the fulness of time to become like us (Galatians 4:4-5) is indeed the most blessed (Luke 1:42).

God told Aaron the priest, in the Book of Numbers, to “put my name” on the people who would become blessed (Numbers 6:27). This is the famous Aaronic Benediction, also called “the priestly prayer.” It means not only is the name of God on a person a blessing, but the presence of God in a person or situation is absolutely a blessing. 

Therefore, anything we do that embodies God or is a gesture intended in praise of God or having the support of God is a blessing.

Unlike David, we would not be privileged to bring the Ark of the Lord into our home. But like David, we are privileged that God has chosen a woman, the New Eve, whom many Fathers of the Church described as the New Ark, Mary, the mother of the Lord, through whom the Lord has been born into the world. God is no longer living in an ark made with physical wood but in the living organization of a body, his Church, and the members, who are his temples (1 Corinthians 16:19-20).

How to Get Blessed

Just like Aaron, the priest, “put God’s name” on people as a blessing, we can also place the name of God on others through our words and actions. The above view means a blessing must flow through us to reach others.

Finally, let us consider how we get blessed. If a blessing is God dwelling with us, approving us, or being with us, how do we get blessed? It takes us back to the roots—kneel, praise. We get blessed by responding to blessing, who is God, with praise and adoration. Our hearts are in constant worship toward him, the Lord, who is our blessing. In divine praise, we experience the blessing; we tap all we need. The consequence of our worship is that our lives glow with the divine gifts.

Consider praise as our stepping in the ocean of divine love and life, which flourishes us, making us bloom. Do you desire an unimaginable blessing? Attune your heart and life in total praise and adoration to the Lord.

Your blessing is God glorified, and in return, you are becoming more and more what God set forth for you. People would then see how much you have become the best version of yourself in God. The best version of yourself comes with the attributes—those qualities, competencies, spiritual and material gifts that others would see and thank God for blessing you.

What Can We Do?

However, we often get carried away by our imperfections and forget to dedicate our lives to God, thus entirely missing out on experiencing his blessings. We must continually acknowledge God’s presence. By acknowledging God’s presence among us and dedicating our lives to him, we can tap into the blessings he has in store for us.

We can experience God’s blessings by committing to him and living for his glory. When our hearts are devoted to God, every human quality, from service to praying and even the practice of virtues, becomes a blessing. When we intentionally live for God, we see blessings in everything. We are, indeed, a blessing to many.

In conclusion, a blessing is not just about the good things we experience but about a life devoted to God. Glorifying God in and through us is the ultimate blessing for humans. By living for God, we open ourselves up to his bountiful blessings.

How may this 2024 be for you and me, moments of praise? Am I living for God’s glory and dedicating all my actions, thoughts, and words to him? How can I ensure that everything I do reflects my love for God?

Lord, help me to acknowledge your presence in my life and live my life for your glory this 2024. May everything I do be a reflection of my love for you and my neighbor. Amen.

[January 1: Numbers 6:22-27; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 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. Kathy Oliveira on January 1, 2024 at 10:16 am


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