Numbers 6: 22-27
Galatians 4: 4-7
Luke 2: 16-21
“The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!” (Num 6:24-26).
This blessing from the Hebrew Scriptures is a good way to greet all you readers on the first day of the New Year. This definitely is my prayer for all of you.
One of the traditions many people have for the beginning of a new year is to make resolutions to guide them during the days ahead. The sad thing is that many resolutions, if not all, are forgotten rather quickly. I suggest that you honestly look at your life to see an area that needs some change, some growth. Choose one action to help make that change. Make it doable and one you can stick to throughout the year. Ask for God’s grace to assist you.
In addition to being New Year’s Day, this is the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. During Advent and last weekend, we had several scripture readings about Mary. She is a woman who was able to make and fulfill her resolution. At the Annunciation, in response to the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement that she would be the mother of Jesus, she made her resolution: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Her response was not an easy one, but one she made wholeheartedly,
What about us? Do we say yes to God when we are asked by reason of our baptism to be wholehearted followers? Is it like our New Year resolution that lasts only a short time? To be a committed follower is more that saying yes. It means our actions are the proof of our yes. There are so many needs in our world right now that we could never make a huge difference but we can make a difference in the lives of a few people. What have you done for immigrants who have come to your local community? How have you shown respect and compassion for LGBTQ persons in your family or neighborhood? What have you done to stop someone from making racist comments? These are not easy actions but are ones (among many other) that God is calling us to as we begin this new year?
What is one specific action you can commit to that changes the life of at least one person for the better?
How would you describe yourself as a committed follower of the Christ?
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Sister, this is Jean’s neighbor Ginny. Have you heard anything from Jean?