January 1st New beginnings
As we said good bye to the old year, let’s take a minute to remember those who left us… What we are today is a byproduct of all the people we have met in our life time. Let us appreciate them and raise our prayers to the heavenly father for all of them, every single one of them.
Let us also take time to ponder and reflect in the quality of our lives: think of the decisions you made in the past year; think of the opportunities that came your way; and cherish those special moments that touched your soul.
With the passing of years our lives are shaped by the people we meet, the places we go, the sacrifices we make. Our future depends on the steps we take every single day.
As we gather in prayer, let us “ponder” in silence and reflect on the type of life we lived in 2016. Give thanks for everything: the good and the not so good moments.
You may be tempted to look back and focus on those days that carried a lot of negative charge, Stop, don’t do that. When looking back, make sure you do so ONLY to learn from the circumstances and NEVER to shame yourself or others. Unfortunately, the past cannot be changed, but we can learn from the past.
Recently a young woman came to me for confession. She was devastated by the mistakes she made in her adolescence. She was very surprised when I told her that God is not interested in her mistakes. God is not like us (we love to dig down into our hearts and find faults and mistakes and sins). God’s gaze is as a loving father/mother. To God we are perfect, because we are his creation. He made us perfect. His focus is not our mistakes, but in our capacity to learn and change and become one with him. Some of the greatest saints have been the greatest sinners.
In some countries on New Year’s Eve, people get rid of things, especially what is no longer working or needed. At mid-night, they throw stoves, refrigerators and clothes out of their windows. Although, it may sound like a bizarre custom, I think it is a healthy one. A variation of that tradition would be to get rid of your sins, your worries, your mistakes, your fears and your feelings of inferiority. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a ritual in which we cleanse ourselves from the past and start anew for the New Year?
As we hear the word of God in today’s gospel, we are reminded of the birth of Jesus as a new beginning – Not only for Mary and Joseph, but for the whole world: and definitely not only for Christians. A beginning means letting go of the past; learning from what we did wrong and tracing a new path. Therefore, today think of the positive things that surround you. Make a list of all the goodness you see. Make sure your list is at least two pages long or 30 to 40 items. IF you have a difficult time coming up with a list: then begin by praying and giving thanks for your younger years, each of your family members, the air, the earth, the sky, the flowers, the cold and the heat. Remember to stay positive and appreciate that which you are.
Fr. Marc Angelo,
P.S. Know that we are very appreciative of your support and your contribution to Archangels and Seraphim Church: please continue to support us by visiting http://archangelschurch.org/ And making a generous donation. You can also send a check to: PO Box 3414 Culver City CA 90231. May God multiply your generosity in health and love! Thank you!
Fr. Marc Angelo, PO Box 3414, Culver City, CA 90231
Mass every Sunday at 6:00pm at St. Mary’s in Palms 3647 Watseka Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034-3914
Every last Sunday of the month mass in Spanish at 4:00 pm and English at 6:00 pm.