Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 5:37 PM
HONOR ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST-Saturday, June 23rd at 6:30 around the front circle for the Blessing of the Fire

01/01/17 Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God - Fr. Damian

The name “January” comes from the Roman god Janus, the god with two faces, one looking to the past and the other looking to the future. This is a time of the year when we do something like that as we look back at the year that has just ended and look forward to the new year ahead of us.

 

How did we spend the one year of our life that has just passed?

Did we use it to advance the goals and objectives we had last year at this time?

Did we use it to strengthen our spiritual life?

Could we have done a better job in how we used our time and talents?

Did we wisely balance the demands of Church, work and family?

What did we achieve last year and what did we fail to achieve?

Through soul searching questions like these we can find that a review of the past year naturally leads to setting goals and resolutions for the new year as instinctively we look forward.

 

There are people who say that there is no point in making resolutions because we will break them anyway. That is not entirely true. We need to set goals for our life or else we will just be moved around by events and others, like pieces on a chessboard.

Today's newspapers are filled with the New Year resolutions of celebrities and ordinary individuals. Most of those, though, are not resolutions but wishes. There is a difference between a resolution and a wish. A wish identifies a goal we want to reach. A resolution specifies the steps we will take to reach it. A wish says where I want to be, a resolution says this is the road I will take, this is what I will do to get there. A wish is a hope. A resolution is a road map.

The difference between wishing and resolving lies in this: Are we ready to make the changes needed to make the wish come true? Are we ready to pay the price?

 

The Gospel today presents Mary to us as a model of that new life in Christ all of us wish for ourselves in the new year. We read that when the shepherds came to adore the infant Lord, “Mary kept all these things and reflected on them in her heart.”

 

Do we ever spend time reflecting on the ways God has touched our lives in the past year, this past Christmas? Some of us are very good at remembering all the negatives in our life, the ways people have harmed us. Do we ever try to recall the moments of grace when God touched our lives? Do we ever keep any of that in our minds and hearts?

 

Mary took the time to reflect on these things and lift them all to the Father in prayer. The holiness of Mary was certainly God's gift to her but she also cooperated with that grace.

St. Paul says in today's second reading that we have received the spirit of adoption, a special relationship with God through Christ because of our Baptism. Do we try to activate and energize that relationship, or do we disable it like a computer program and just keep our spiritual potential trapped inside?

 

Mary provides another example to us. She found the word of God not only in divine revelation, the Old Testament and the word of revelation given to the shepherds, but also in her own experience.

So, God speaks to us today through His Word and His Church as well as through the experiences of our life if we take the time to reflect on them as Mary did.

As we begin a new year, let's try not just to make wishes for the new year but resolutions, concrete resolutions to tend to our responsibilities and strengthen our relationships with family, friends, God and Church that we have been given.

The new calendars we receive today can either be a rerun of last year or a road map through the Church seasons and the lives of the saints to a deeper, stronger and more honest spiritual life.

 

 

Most of us use those calendars to put down doctor's appointments, vacation times and school events. Maybe we can use them to circle days for confession, days when we will come to the church alone for prayer, reminders of our resolutions as spiritual markers along the way.

Today, we ask God's blessing and Mary's intercession to guide us in this new year, so that in all that happens in the next months, it will be for us a year of grace in which we bring to life the potential of our Baptism and see God's presence, blessing us, correcting us and calling us in everything that happens.

Comments

There are no comments for this post.

Add a comment

Will not be shared.
Add Comment
 
Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!