After the excitement of Christmas Day celebrations, as Catholics we are blessed to be able to continue celebrating Christmas into the New Year, until the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th). We marvel at the miracle of the birth of Our Savior and dwell on the magnitude of how our lives have been changed by the simplicity of a baby. Nothing inspires more awe than the birth of a child, let alone the birth of God’s child, whom he sent to save us from our sinful selves.
When we ponder this great blessing, many of the trappings of the secular Christmas celebration pale in comparison. As we meditate upon the miracle that happened, we are inclined to look at our lives in a different way. We have been given a second chance because our God is such a loving God that he sent his child to heal us, to stand in our place and redeem us from the mistakes and poor choices we have made (and will continue to make). The calendar also begins anew and with the New Year there is motivation to do better, be kinder, act more patiently, be better stewards, and work harder to be the children God created us to be.
Traditionally, the New Year starts with a litany of resolutions to bring us closer to these ideals, which we desire for ourselves and our families. This is all well and good. Setting goals is a part of life and reaching those goals feels even better. Once we’ve set and achieved one goal, it gives us the momentum to achieve another goal and another. As these achievements build on each other, our goals might become bigger and more challenging, but we have previous successes behind us to give us the confidence to reach the bigger goals too.
However, as we continue to work our way through our checklist, we need to stay focused on THE goal—Heaven. We have many opportunities throughout the year to reset our earthly goals, but our eternal goal is Heaven and we must never lose sight of that. By staying focused on the birth of our Savior, constantly remaining in prayer, reconciliation, and thanksgiving, the rewards we reap from our earthly goals will be that much sweeter.
“Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
~Embolism after The Lord’s Prayer
Wishing you abundant blessings in the New Year and always,
The Simple Steward