This year of 2020 is coming to a close and a veritable tsunami of material is being loaded onto the internet regarding the end of one year (all the good and bad that went with it) and dawn of the new year to come (with all the good and the bad that will come with it).
The year 2020 will soon be gone and many people will be glad it is gone. I get this and there is a part of me that will be glad to see it go as well.
This is not a secular blog though so I am going to inject a critical element into this writing and one that will help us – that being of faith.
Faith does not have us ignore that bad stuff of life; faith has see how God is working the bad stuff of life as well as the good. We can all too easily conclude that God has “gone on vacation” as the world and perhaps our own life goes into something akin to a tailspin.
Each of us – I submit – needs to see all things through the eyes of faith. This does not mean that you or I will have all the answers (I don’t!). What it will allow us “to see” is that God has foreseen 2020 from all eternity. There are no oops with God!
God has has provided – from all eternity – the grace that we need to grow in holiness.
God has foreseen the lockdowns; God has foreseen all of our difficult days and our good days. God could not be, cannot be and would never want to be absent from any of it.
There is no perfect time to become a saint AND there is no worst time not to become a saint. All times are foreseen by God and therefor it is possible to become a saint anytime in history.
So, as we say goodbye to 2020 it is important that each of spend time in prayer thinking about the many blessings that God has granted to. We need to give thanks to God for all of them (know and unknown to us).
We also need to spend time in prayer thinking of the many lost opportunities that God made available to us during this past year. It could be that we know very well we should have prayed more but did not. Perhaps we lost valuable opportunities to reach out of friends or family during COVID19. Perhaps we subjected ourselves to negative news and forget the good things happening around us. Remember – there is no perfect time to become a saint – the time is now!
With all of this I tend to dismiss making “New Year’s resolutions” as a lot of them go by the wayside all too quickly.
The saints teach us to make resolutions every day – even one – and it can be a very small resolution, but they need to be made every day.
Smiling at an annoying worker with sincerity. This may not change them – but it might! – but it will change you. Change up the resolutions but keep doing “the one” and do it intentionally. Do not underestimate the importance of small things done with love for God and others around you.
As we enter 2021 let us resolve to make that “one resolution” every day. Be intentional about this “one resolution.” There can, of course, be more but start with “the one” and build from there.
I tell people – if you start reading the New Testament for 3 minutes each day (no more and no less) you will have read 18.5 hours of the bible by the end of the year. How many people read the Bible for 18.5 hours every year? I don’t know but I suspect it is very few people.
But with 3 minutes every day (a small action) you will accomplish a big 18.5 hours (a big action) by the end of the year.
May we all look to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, as her Solemnity brings in the New Year of 2021. Whatever it holds for us remember that God has foreseen it from all eternity and God has grace available – just waiting – for you and me to help us grow in holiness, to becomes saints!
That “one resolution” each day will help us take a step closer to being a saint.
Fr Bruce-John Hamilton