For most people a ‘happy’ or ‘good’ year means to be free from illness, difficulties, troubles and that everyone smiles at us and is gracious in our regard. We hope for a year in which we are able to earn our living, that prices fall and that the media communicates encouraging stories every day. We can express this desire by simply saying a good year means to have a year with few problems.
For Christians, a good year is one in which all our joys and adversities help us to love God a little more each day. Any year can be a good year if we utilise the graces that God has granted us to transform even the most terrible misfortunes into a positive outcome. We have a little more than 300 days to let the Lord work in our lives and He has already predisposed all the aids that we need so that it can be a ‘good year’. Let us not waste one single day!
The church starts every new year with the feast of Mary, Mother of God and places before us the example of Mary so that we can imitate her. Mary is a woman, a creature like us, who, through her accordance to God’s Will, gave birth to God!
How is this possible? The Virgin Mary conceived Jesus, the Son of God, in her womb because she believed the Word of God (c.f Lk 1:45). The world often tells us that there is no room for God in our lives. We often trust our rationality and our way of thinking such that truth only lies in what we experience of what we feel to be true. Often we desire everything at once, self-realisation is important and so anything that has the flavour of commitment and sacrifice must be eliminated. God, on the contrary, is presented to us, not as someone who demands, but as the one who gives. In Mary, God found the acceptance and openness to His Will which are the pre-requisites for God to work. Mary’s maternity is a wok of God. Mary is a virgin and so objectively, in her situation, it is impossible to generate life. However, her response to God: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to thy word,” (Lk 1:38) gave rise to her fruitfulness. Through the grace that we have received in Baptism, we also have the power to become ‘fertile soil’ like Mary. We are also able to perform God’s works by becoming the fountains of light for our neighbours.
It is not for us to decide what to do, because it is God who acts, and so, to understand our mission, we must ask Him. 2013 will be a ‘good’ year if we say to God each day: “speak Lord your servant is listening.” Each of us is capable of being good but, if on the occasions when we fall due to mistakes or discouragement, we need only to start again going to the Sacrament of Penance if necessary.
May 2013 be a ‘good’ year for all in which, at the end, we will be able to present to the Lord all our good apostolic works undertaken amongst our friends and family, those acts of charity we have made, the small victories over our faults and failings and those special encounters with the Lord in Holy Communion.
May the Virgin Mary, who we honour under the title of Virgin of Revelation, grant us the grace to live 2013 with love and the firm undertaking to live our lives rooted in the faith and to enjoy the grace of true and lasting peace.
May God Bless Us
And The Virgin Protect Us