Auld Lang Syne
Happy New Year 2011! This is an exciting time to celebrate the passing of one year and the beginning of another year of blessings. In our culture, January 1st represents the beginning of our calendar year and the opportunity for a fresh start in our daily lives. New Year’s resolutions are a popular way to recommit ourselves and our lives to some purpose, whether it is losing weight, living a healthier lifestyle, spending less money, or simply being kinder toward others. The readings for today also remind us of the new start we have to recommit our lives to Christ.
In the first reading, the Lord instructs Moses in how He will bless the Israelites. The Responsorial Psalm echoes this as a prayer from the whole world for God’s blessing. As we begin this new year, we desire God’s face to shine upon us with mercy, graciousness, and love. Paul’s letter to the Galatians further reminds us of our share in the inheritance of God since we are His sons and daughters. The holiday season is a time shared with family and often involves gifts that show our love for one another. Ever since I was a young child, I remember that the Christmas gift from my mom and dad was always the biggest and best present under the tree. Similarly, since God is our Father, have we not also received the greatest gift from Him, the gift of His only son, Jesus? And what should we do with this gift? During this Christmas season, we should be like the shepherds who “returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” While this new year is an opportunity to refocus our lives and recommit ourselves to God’s purpose, it should also be a response to the gift of Jesus that we have received. As the old Scottish poem and song goes,
My heart is ravished with delight, when thee I think upon;
All grief and sorrow takes the flight, and speedily is gone;
The bright resemblance of thy Face, so fills this heart of mine;
That Force nor Fate can me displease, for auld lang syne.