It was on January 1, 2016 that an Indian, set out his journey in a ship. Before his travel, he changed all his possessions into 1000 rupees Indian notes. Unfortunately, he was shipwrecked and stranded on an Island with his money bag. He raised his eyes to heaven and asked God in anger “why are you doing all these to me?” As days passed by, this man learnt how to survive in the Island. He made a small hut there and accumulated whatever he collected from the Island. One day when he returned from hunting, he saw that his hut was on fire along with everything else he owned except the money bag. All his possessions were going up to the sky in the form of smoke. In his despair, he threw a fist into the air and began cursing God and yelling, “God, how could you let this happen to me? I have been praying everyday for months about being rescued and no one has come, and now everything that I have is in fire! Why did you let this happen?”

Later the man was on his hands and knees weeping heavily when he happened to look up and catch sight of a ship coming in his direction. The man was rescued and as they were heading back to India the man asked the captain, “How were you able to find me?” The captain responded, “We were voyaging across the ocean when we noticed on the horizon a column of smoke going up. We decided to go check it out and that’s how we found you!” Drops of tears of gratitude rolled out of his eyes to the God whom he cursed just before. And that was the dawn of New Year that carries the springtime of hope in it.

The smoke of prayers, that we sent up to the heavenly Father on past days when we were trapped in the fire of solitude, loneliness, misunderstanding, failures and so on, has seen by Christ and he has come to us as the captain of the ship of hope to take us to the shore of happiness in the dawn of New Year. If we undertake our voyage with Christ, our captain, we will be able to face all the winds and storms of problems and to reach the shore of happiness in this New Year.

On their way back to India, he showed his collection of 1000 rupees notes to the captain without knowing the fact that old thousand rupees notes are waste papers from January 1, 2017 onwards. When captain shared the current situation the hopes that he kept in his money were fell apart. And the inner meanings of God’s words like “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven” (Luke 12). “Give us this day our daily bread”(Matthew 6:11). ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things that you have prepared whose they will be? So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God (Luke 12:20-21). Etc., opened in the screen of his mind.

He realised that the gone yesterdays are like old 1000 rupees notes which has no value in today’s market. Tomorrows are like the newly introduced 2000 rupees notes, which have value in market. But we the Christians can convert our old valueless 1000 rupees notes into valuable 2000 rupees notes by entering into the A.T.M (Affection Transaction Machine) counter of confessional. One of the finest messages that this New Year offers is that God has renewed our life from valueless 1000 rupees notes to valuable 2000 rupees new notes. As rivers never go reverse, let us also forget past and focus on future of hope.

If 2000 rupees notes are introduced in India by the Reserve Bank of India, Heavenly Father has converted the valueless 1000 rupees notes like lives of ours into 2000 rupees valuable notes and sent into this world. In 2000 rupees notes it is the Governor of Reserve Bank who has written on notes that “I promises to pay the bearer of the sum of 2000 rupees”. In our lives of 2000 rupees notes it is God who has promised that ‘’I have made you in my image and likeness’’ (Genesis 1:26).

We find the signature of The Governor of Reserve Bank in the 2000 rupees notes. In the life notes of Christians, the signature was kept by the blood of Christ, the Governor of The Kingdom of God. We find the picture and name of Mahathma Gandhi in 2000 rupees notes but the picture and name that are imprinted in the heart of 2000 rupees notes like Christians are of Christ. Indian 2000 rupee note carries the symbol of three lions and “ashokchakra” in it but a Christian’s life bears the symbol of Trinity and sheha chakra. Both the 2000 rupees notes of the world and of God proclaim the message “Sathymeva Jayathe”. When India launched the 2000 rupees notes, Prime Minister reminded the people not to make the notes dirty by writing and drawing pictures on it. Let us also not make the 2000 rupees notes like lives of ours dirty by writing wrong messages and immoral pictures on it in this New Year. Let us keep our lives away from the dust of sin in this New Year.

In English alphabets, the letter “O” stands for Opportunity. “O”(Opportunity) is absent in Yesterday. There is one “O”(Opportunity) in T”O”day that is why we say that opportunity never knocks twice today. The Letter “O”(Opportunity) is thrice present in T’’O’’m’’O’’rr’’O’’w. As we read in Jeremiah 29:11 God has better plan for our tomorrows to give us a future with hope. Let us dive into this New Year with gratitude to God who has given us one more year to produce fruits of love and peace.

Let us not be the fool in the parable of the Rich Fool by burying our valuable lives without using it. Let us use it to make our family members, friends, society members, poor people etc., happy and find the fulfilment of our 2000 rupees notes like lives in this New Year of Hope.

Fr. Joby Kochupurayil CST