by Fr. Raymond McDaniel, Pastor, St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church
The holidays are over, travelers have returned home, decorations are most probably boxed up again, and New Year’s resolutions are underway. Christmas has come and gone, and a new year has begun. Is this reality simply the passage of time, another cycle based on the earth’s orbit around the sun? Is our calendar just Pope Gregory XIII’s attempt to harmonize solar and religious time?
For persons of faith, these material realities are true, but they always point to something more. To consider the creation and its cycles means to look back to the Creator. To think of the cosmic designs of an all-powerful God also suggests we ask deeper questions, beginning with “why?”
St. Thomas Aquinas taught that “creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.” Our Loving God created all things to show His glory, and made creation to be the setting for something even more wondrous than the cosmos: the story of our salvation in Christ. And if that’s so, then the passage of a time, the start of a new year is more than the mere marking of months. It can, and must be, a time for us to draw closer to the One who is “the key of love,” our Merciful Father.
As we make resolutions to lose weight or to read that book that has lingered unread on the shelf, let’s not forget what’s most important in this new year that God has given us. He has taught through His Son that anything we do for Him – any sacrifice, any good deed, any attempt to pray better or love more generously – will be blessed a hundredfold in this life, plus eternal life!
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