Our New Year began this weekend on Saturday as we celebrated the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. As we reflect on this Solemnity, we are urged to follow Mary’s example of holiness. Pope Francis has noted that devotion to Mary is a requirement of the Christian life.
This Sunday, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. On this day, we focus on the wise men who were on a difficult journey of faith to encounter the Lord. They faced many risks and obstacles on their journey. These risks and obstacles included the danger inherent in traveling on a difficult and arduous journey.
Like the wise men, we also are on a difficult journey of faith to encounter the Lord in these challenging and uncertain times as we strive to adapt our approach to worship and service as we cope primarily with the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus. Pope Francis acknowledged the difficulty of our faith journey and encouraged us, as a community of faith, to assist each other in overcoming the many obstacles we face. He also urged us as disciples to take a more spiritual focus to the New Year.
The following “New Years Reflection and Prayer” from PrayerForAnxiety.com braces the call of Our Holy Father.
As the old year ends and a new one begins, take time.
Time to remember the struggle you faced,
and mistakes you might have made,
and maybe even loved ones you lost.
In every year, you experience heartache.
This one was no different.
And in remembering, find a seed of hope hidden in yesterday.
Remember how you’ve been blessed.
Relive when you found unexpected strength.
Recall when you saw God’s great Spirit at work.
And know his mercy kept you going all this time.
Recognize his mercy. Ask for his peace.
The peace that pours out every moment of every day from the wounds of Christ.
Prepare us Our Lord for the New Year.
Lift us up and place in our hearts a renewed desire to know and worship you more.
Give us your abundant grace.
Shower us with your healing love.
May your eternal Kingdom reign in our hearts and our lives.
May the New Year show us once again your eternal mercy and glory.
And let us sing your praises with great joy.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
As we ponder on this prayer, we are encouraged to take time to reflect and remember, and embrace the opportunity to enhance our spiritual growth as we continue on our journey of faith.
On behalf of Fr. Bill, Fr. Darragh, our Deacons, and staff, we wish you and your families many blessings in the New Year.