Sunday, January 1, 2017

Will the New Year Bring You Peace?

Solemnity of the Mother of God

Happy New Year! 

The life of Jesus begins with Mary, therefore, it is appropriate that we begin the New Year with the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Since Mary is the Mother of God she is the mother of joy, joy to the world.

So the traditional greeting on this first day of the New Year is one of joy.

Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

How many times did you give that greeting to others and is it really possible to find happiness in the New Year?

It would be a mistake to expect perfect happiness in this life. This innate, insatiable drive we all have for perfect happiness can only be satisfied in the next life. As St. Augustine said, “Lord, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” But there is a deep, lasting peace that everyone can have in this life.

What brings us happiness and peace? The answer is to be found in Bethlehem. Look at the Nativity. A beautiful babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manger and around him? There is no riches, no fame, no power, no conveniences, no pleasure, nothing but an empty, cold cave on the outskirts of town. Mary and Joseph kneeling before the manger must have been tired, hungry, cold, humiliated. Yet in the midst of all of this, Mary and Joseph are the happiest people to walk the face of this earth.

They teach us the amazing paradox that it is only when we lose ourselves in the love and service of Jesus do we find happiness. Happiness that this world can never give and no one can take from us. Jesus made it very simple, “Whatever you do for one of these least brethren you do for me.” So on this first day of the New Year let us ask for the grace to know Jesus more intimately, love him more ardently and follow him more closely so that this may be a truly Happy New Year!

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