The Octave of Christmas end on the first fay of the new year, which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, venerated as the Mother of God. The Gospel reminds us that she "kept all these things, pondering them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). So she did in Bethlehem, on Golgotha at the foot of the cross, and on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended in the Upper Room. And so she does today too. The Mother of God and of human beings keeps in her heart all of humanity's problems, great and difficult, and meditates upon them. The Alma Redemptoris Mater walks with us and guides us with motherly tenderness towards the future. Thus she helps humanity cross all the "thresholds" of the years, the centuries, the millenniums, by sustaining their hope in the One who is the Lord of history.
--Blessed Pope John Paul II