I would like to wish all of you a most happy, blessed and peace-filled New Year. We have the custom of making what are termed “New Year’s resolutions” this time every year and that in itself is not so bad. However, for we who are Catholics, our New Year has already begun with the First Sunday of Advent and it is our long and holy tradition to call our New Year a year of “grace and favor from the Lord”.
Moreover, we have been celebrating with personal and communal prayer, devotions, our holy liturgies and our serious and further study this great “Year of Faith”, and we shall continue to do so until the Solemnity of Christ the King this next November.
Since the "Year of Faith” is already underway and our New Year of “grace and favor from the Lord” is also underway, I would like to suggest that as we begin a new calendar year, we make our “New Year’s resolutions” what we are already doing for the “Year of Faith” and which the Advent and Christmas seasons have contributed to our prayers, devotions, liturgies, studies and works of charity and self-sacrifice.
The reason I suggest this is that, if you are like me, I usually make resolutions for a new calendar year, which are too easy to do and even easier not to do. I end up keeping these resolutions for a little while and then gradually I begin to cut corners and eventually I quit. I think I know the reasons why I do this. First, I make too many resolutions; second, they are too easy and thus, any distraction will make me skip or stop doing them; and finally, none of them are all that necessary or important so that if I stop them I really won’t be bothered by that.
Let’s not do that this calendar. Let’s make what we are doing in our “Year of Faith” and our own New Year of “grace and favor from the Lord” our calendar New Year’s resolutions. In this way, we not only strengthen and nourish and enliven our faith, which is our life, we will do the same for the world around us and in which we live, work, go to school, recreate and assist others. In other words, we take our re-evangelized faith with us each day wherever we go and it is then the reason we speak and think and act as faithful Catholics who do love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Please know that I continue to remember all of you each day at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and I ask that in your goodness you would remember to pray for our priests, seminarians, deacons and the lay women and men who serve Christ in His Church.