Sunday, January 1, 2017

Greeting the New year with Hope

We begin a new calendar year. A time for resolutions and for Christians the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. A good time to resolve to live in the manner that Mary showed us by listening to God's word in our hearts and consciences and living it in our daily lives.

We are made to be happy and for many of us the hope is not the reality. And yet that is what we need to expect and desire. God gives us the graces; we believe we are the temples of the Holy Spirit but fail to remember the meaning. Despite the many problems, sickness, the situation in which we find ourselves and the craziness that is all around, we are called to live with joy, a gift of the the Holy Spirit.

A Korea priest who spent some time in Lima, Peru, as a missioner writes in the Catholic Digest about his experience in living in a poor area of the city. On the day  before the New Year the people are busy making life-like dolls for the New Year.

This is the summer season and you hear the words from open doors: 'bring more clothes' as they prepare to make dolls out of old clothing. if you ask what are they dong, they will answer preparing to burn the old year.

At midnight they shoot off fireworks and burn the dolls which symbolize all that was negative in the past year: the bad things, the sins, all that made for unhappiness they burn and hope for a different and joyful new year.

He reminds himself, now back in Korea, how in the pastoral work he uses his own yard stick to determine what is right and wrong with often clumsy results and fails to acknowledge the problems which follow from this.

He remembers the Peruvians and their dolls and wants to begin the New Year with the burning of all that was bad: the wrong judgments, improper emotions and begin a completely new year.

"God does not tire of being merciful and forgiving us." These words of Pope Francis begin to resonate with him. He concludes the article by hoping to live like a person who has  been forgiven. To meet every person as if coming for the first time, meeting all as if he has never been hurt, and see all occasions and persons with hope. Isn't this a way of living with joy in our hearts? Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment