1st JANUARY 2018:

Mary is the Mother of God because she bore Jesus Christ. Today is also a new start for so many things: it is the beginning of a new time, it offers us new opportunities, it is a time of starting afresh, it is a moment to let go of the past. The notion of renewal, or starting over seems to be deep within us and is precisely what we celebrate as the redemption Christ has won for us. He comes to us with the offer of his forgiveness, with the possibility of a new start, a rebirth. This is why the basic Christian ritual is baptism: the past is over, life begins afresh. This is the same renewal that lies at the heart of Christian forgiveness and the Sacrament of Reconciliation: the past is dead, we can begin anew.

The New Year is usually a time of planning ahead, aspiring towards ideals, setting ambiguous targets and working to reach those ideals and achieve those targets. Some people decide to devote more time to their spouses and children… Others resolve to work more efficiently… Some students choose to study systematically and consistently… But life is not as simple as making New Year resolutions and effortlessly keeping them. Christianity teaches us that we are unable to sustain our efforts to change our attitudes and improve our behaviour by ourselves. We constantly need God’s help and blessing. Otherwise all our efforts are ultimately doomed to failure. Thus it is appropriate to ask God’s blessing on the New Year and on everything we undertake in the future and nurture them by prayer, longing for God in our life and spiritual exercise such as Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Examination of Conscience. It also challenges us to be humble about our talents and achievements by reminding us that our happiness and well-being originate in God’s infinite and unconditional love, which is the source of our life.

Wish you all a Happy Feast & New Year! Fr Shaju

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