What does a new year really mean? After all, it is a somewhat arbitrary designation that marks the beginning of a calendar year, and the rest of its significance is something that we attribute to it. We determine that it is time to start fresh, we decide that it allows us to put the past behind us, we resolve to do all kinds of things that are good for us and others – all with the click of one second. As 2015 passes into 2016, maybe the greatest resolution should be to see our lives anew. Without the hoopla (and excessive alcohol), maybe New Year is a metaphor for New Day!
I am moved more and more to appreciate the presence of Christ in my life in each day, in varied moments of my day. That ongoing awareness is a refreshing glimpse of the ways in which the Holy Spirit desires to renew us regularly, not just once a year. The opportunity that we have to treasure God’s goodness in our lives and be moved by it to grow in His grace is more compelling than a falling ball and flying confetti. Do we need the fireworks of New Year’s Eve to be jolted out of our malaise? If so, there is one built in to our lives – it is our Sunday praise and worship as a community of faith. We go to the party as it were, to reflect on the past, to hope in the future, and to receive the refreshment that only the Body and Blood of Christ can give.
Don’t miss the party! If there be a resolution that will do more for you than you can ever imagine, it is a commitment to go to Mass each Sunday. And not just as a passive spectator, lamenting that it “doesn’t do anything for me”. As we chide the New Year’s Eve wall flower who shrinks sheepishly in the corner lamenting that the party is a dud, so too we challenge the Christian who goes to praise God on Sunday not expecting to have to put something into it other than just showing up. Sing, pray, cry, laugh, rejoice, praise, resolve, receive – Sunday Mass has it all. As Pope Francis has invited us to focus on Mercy this year, may you allow God’s mercy to wash over you in the greatest gift of love there is – the Eucharist – the gift of himself.
Happy New Year!
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