New year, new adventure
Readings: Num 6,22-27; Ps 67,2-18.104.22.168; Gal 4,4-7; Lk 2,16-21
The first day of the year fills us all with wonder and amazement at the great love of God. There is a danger of getting lost in the many festive events that surround this day. What we ought to remember is the mystery of the Lord’s nativity. Mary is our model in saying yes to God’s love and in being a channel of the same love for others. Let us be blessed at the beginning of the year so that we may be a blessing for each other!
God, in His faithfulness, has made it possible for us to cross from the old to the new year. We ought to thank Him. We may have sustained some wounds in the old year and are perhaps still stuck in our past. Let us surrender the past hurts, failures, mistakes, sins and any sort of brokenness into the hands of the merciful Father. We may be afraid of the unknown in the new year. Let us surrender all our fears, dreams and plans into the providential hands of same Father. There was a time when 2021 was a promise, but now it is gone. It will never come back. We had a chance of tasting the goodness of the Lord. Let us not hold fast to anything, but rather integrate the lessons we have learnt and then be ready for a new adventure! God has a lot in store for us. We may not know the details of the content but what we are sure of is that God has promised to be with us. We stand on His promises. These promises can not fail. If we are to do a general evaluation of what we have gone through in the past year, we can use the words of the psalmist: „If the Lord had not been with us,…they would have swallowed us alive…Blessed is the Lord, who did not leave us to be torn by their teeth…we escaped with our lives like a bird from the fowlers snare; the snare was broken and we are free.“ (Ps 124).
God is inviting us for a new journey. The old has been ended. Just as He normally does, He gives us a blessing for the journey. When He created the human being (male and female), He blessed them (Gen 1,28); when He called Abram, He blessed him and sent him to be a blessing(Gen 12, 2); God’s blessing and favour rested in a special way on Mary the Mother of Christ and our Mother (Lk 1,28). It is through Mary that God’s blessing and favour have come to us humans. This blessing is called JESUS CHRIST. Through Him and with Him and in Him we are no longer slaves to sin but sons and daughters and heirs in the Father’s household (see Gal 4, 7). So please, beloved son, beloved daughter, claim your blessing!
God’s delight to be with us on our journeys has been manifested in His descent into human history. The path of descent that Jesus took led Him into the mess that humans have always made in their lives and in the lives of others. His name means „God saves“. He has come not to condemn, but to save. Even if there would be enough to condemn in the world, God chooses to deal with us according to his merciful love (see Jn3, 16). Let us not be afraid of surrending our lives, with whatever characterizes it, to Him. He is going to reoder them just as He brought order out of the original chaos before His creative word (Gen 1, 1-2). In the course of the new year, we have various opportunities of encountering Him: in His word, in the sacraments, in our relationships in family, community, workplaces and in our brothers and sisters especially the poorest and those at the margins of society. Let us open our hearts and hands to receive blessings so that we may become channels of the blessings we have received for others. May the Lord bless us and protect us; May He let His face shine upon us and give us PEACE! Pope Francis is inviting us to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us (the whole Church) to paths that will bring us together. May the year 2022 be a step towards the desired communion of a synodal Church!
A blessing-filled 2022 to us all!