If we think on our lives as a journey, then the passing of each year becomes a milestone marking progress along the way. There's something about celebrating a New Year that brings out our need to rejoice and make merry; maybe it's the pure joy of having made it to another stage along the road. The huge fireworks displays around the world proclaim a collective 'Yippee!' that we've made it thus far. In more normal times huge crowds would gather in major cities to say farewell to the old and ring in the new. Certainly, Covid is something we all hope to see the back of in 2022, but its spectre continues to stalk us and succeeded in muting our celebrations once again. For some it will be a case of good riddance to the year past and for others a celebration of some significant life enhancing event, life is as ever a mixed bag and brings different things to different people.
A New Year offers new possibilities, perhaps it's that realisation that inspires us to New Year resolutions. Will this be the year we finally shed the excess pounds or give up the cigs, get fit, or get the work/life balance on an even keel? The belief that it might be does at least fill us with some kind of hope.
Our faith in Christ Jesus is something we should place on the list of New Year resolutions too, since that faith can shape us not just in this life but has implications that go far beyond this present existence. Maybe this can be the year when we begin to take our faith more seriously, cultivate a prayer life and discover the depth of relationship that Jesus desires to have with us. That faith can make our burdens less burdensome, and give us the where-with-all to cope with whatever life throws our way. As St. Paul said: 'With God on our side who can be against us' Romans 8:31
New Year's Prayer
As we begin a new year, let us give thanks for all we hold dear: our health, our family and our friends.
Let us release our grudges, our anger and our pains, for these are nothing but binding chains.
Let us live each day in the most loving ways, the God-conscious way.
Let us serve all who are in need, regardless of race, colour or creed.
Let us keep God of our own understanding in our hearts and to chant God's name each day.
Let us lead the world from darkness to light, from falsehood to truth and from wrong to right.
Let us remember that we are all one, embracing all, discriminating against none.
May your year be filled with peace, prosperity and love.
May God's blessings shower upon you and bestow upon each of you a bright, healthy and peaceful new year.
St. Mary's Lucan