Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year !

2012 is here! I pray that all of you are having a very Blessed and Safe New Year.

Deacon Keith Fournier posted an article today on Catholic Online that I want to share with you. It's theme? Let us begin the New Year, through Jesus.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. 'For a son of God each day should be an opportunity for renewal, knowing for sure that with the help of grace he will reach the end of the road, which is Love. That is why if you begin and begin again, you are doing well. If you have a will to win, if you struggle, then with God's help you will conquer. There will be no difficulty you cannot overcome.' (St. Jose Maria Escriva, The Forge, 344)

The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." (Jesus to St John, recorded in the Bible, in the Book of Revelation 21:5).

These words from the Book of Revelation or the "Apocalypse" hold out the promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men and women in every Nation under the sun. They were spoken to the beloved disciple John on the Island of Patmos when he received a vision of the new heaven and new earth where the completion of the Redemption of Jesus Christ will be fully manifested.The quote from a contemporary saint, St Escriva, help us to understand their daily promise and application.

The promise "I make all things new" addresses the heart cry of the entire human race. It answers our deepest longing. As the photos pour in from all over the world showing New Years celebrations, what is absolutely clear is that we all hope that we can begin again! At this time of the year, when we end one year and begin a new one, we seem compelled to make resolutions to change our lives. How deeply we want to begin again, to be made new. The Christian claim is that there is Good News! We can!

Those words, "Behold I make all things new" took on new meaning for me several years ago when I watched a powerful scene in the Mel Gibson masterpiece, "The Passion of the Christ." In it Mary, the Mother of the Lord, runs to her wounded Son. He has fallen for the third time from the weight of the Cross. There is a flash back to an earlier day when that same son, as a child, is seen playing in the dusty streets of Nazareth and is about to fall.

With the tender love of a mother, Mary reaches out to her Son. Then the viewer sees her hand touch the wounded face of the Adult Son and Savior who looks at her, and through words addressed to her - He speaks to every human person - from the beginning of time until the end - saying: "Behold, I make all things new." That is the hunger in the heart of every human person expressed on New Year's Eve and continued on New Year's day.

As we repent for the failures of the past year, reflect on the gifts it brought and resolve to "be better" in the coming year, we are confronted with the reality of our human condition and our fratcured freedom. We know that our resolutions to change often end in failure. We are prone to making wrong choices in daily life. We sin. Classical theology speaks of this inclination as "concupiscence".

The Apostle Paul wrote about this experience to the early Christians in Rome in the seventh chapter of his letter: "For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if (I) do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me... Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Our freedom is a reflection of the Image of God within us. It was fractured by the effects of the first sin. Our ability to exercise it properly by choosing the good has been undermined. In the words of Blessed John Paul II ("The Splendor of Truth") "freedom itself needs to be set free." Through the Incarnation, Saving Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus we are capacitated to live our lives differently. When we do, Jesus can make all things new!

As we cross from 2011 to 2012 let us make our first resolution to behold His face, wounded by love, as his mother did. Let us choose to walk through 2012 allowing the Savior to take up residence in our hearts and in our homes.

Read the rest HERE

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