I love beginnings. A new year. A new datebook. New resolutions. And on this last day of the year, in the dark of a long winter’s light, our thoughts turn to the new year, to a new day. We reflect on what our past year has been like. For some of my family and friends, it was a year of grief and sadness and loss. I weep with them and am glad the year is done, though the grieving will continue. For some, it has been a year of joy and triumph. I celebrate with them. For most of us, the year has been a combination of ups and downs. As we end the year and reflect on all that has happened, there is a constant. In time of sorrow and in time of happiness and in that middle time we most often inhabit, there is God. We can turn to him for comfort, for thanksgiving, for strength and for guidance. As the first reading tells us, we have the knowledge and we know the truth. As the gospel says:
“He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it. “
As dark as things get, the light shines in the darkness and draws us in. We have to be open to the light and to become part of the light ourselves. That’s a resolution worth renewing every day: To be a light when those around you are sad. To be a light when you would rather cover your head with the blankets and not climb out of bed. To be a light when you know it’s time to do the right thing, no matter what others are doing.
Let’s extinguish the old year. It’s time to “sing to the lord a new song.” I say thanks to God and ask for help in becoming that light in the year ahead.