Hopefully most of us were blest with parents that presented us not only with life and nurturing but with faith and values, a moral compass and a great example to model our lives after. I realize that we may not all be that fortunate. I was, and I cherish the gift that my parents were to me. Often we ask youngsters what they want to be when they grow up. Many times they want to be like their Moms or Dads. While I never wanted to be a policeman like Dad, I did value his ease with people, his charm and personality (he once took a Dale Carnegie course on winning friends and influencing people - he could have taught the course), his sense of right and wrong, his values and his quiet love for us. Mom had that same quiet love, deeply felt but not overtly expressed too often. They were/are models of what I want my life in ministry to be about.
The Church places before our eyes the image of Mary as a Mom, the Mother of Jesus and by her earliest titles "Theotokis", and our mother, entrusted to us through Saint John, the Beloved Disciple. With the uncertainties facing us in 2013 and beyond, with the realization of our sinfulness and frailty, we need the image of purity, faith, humility, trust and love that is found in Mary to inspire us to rely upon the grace of God more fully and to live our lives more richly in holiness and peace.
HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR!