On this 1st day of January in the Year of Our Lord 2020, I find these words from Proverbs and this New Year's Greeting to speak from my heart.
Our world is broken, as it has been since the Fall of Adam and Eve.
Our peace is fragile since we live in a world touched by hatred and violence.
Our love is challenged because we have lost the reality of a selfless love that requires sacrifice.
Our hope is fleeting since the world places the future in its own hands.
But on this New Year's Day we celebrate a Faith that transcends all limitations and obstacles ... a Faith that acknowledges Salvation as a free gift from God ... a Faith that follows the Prince of Peace ... a Faith that touches our lives with such pure love given us in Christ Jesus that we are redeemed ... and a Faith that tells us that "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."
The Church, and Pope Francis in a homily today, places Mary before our eyes. In verse 19 of today's gospel from Luke the Holy Father says: "The text tells us 'But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.' She kept all these things: joy at the birth of Jesus and sadness for the lack of hospitality shown at Bethlehem; the love of Joseph and the amazement of the shepherds; the promise and the uncertainty of the future. She took everything to heart, and in her heart, she put everything in its right place, even hardships and troubles. In her heart, she lovingly set all things in order and entrusted everything to God.
"Mary does this a second time: at the end of the hidden life of Jesus, we are told that 'keeping in her heart' was not something nice that Our Lady did from time to come, but something habitual. Women typically take life to heart. Women show us that the meaning of life is not found in making things but in taking things to heart. Only those who see with the heart see things properly, because they know how to 'look into' each person: to see a brother apart from his mistakes, a sister apart from her failings, hope amid difficulty. They see God in all persons and things."
These are good words worthy of our reflection.
May your journey be close to Mary and strengthened by the Church. May this Year of Grace be a time of "pondering in your hearts the mystery of a life immersed in the love of God". And may you find a deepened Faith to sustain you.