The New Year is here to greet us with hope and fill us with more dreams. This is an opportunity to take stock of our lives this past year and correct the mistakes we have made and turn away from our sinful ways. It is an opportunity to begin again. St Paul in his letter to Ephesians reminds us, “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Eph 4:22-23). As we step into this new year the Lord gives us the same command. If in the past we have chosen to live a life away from the Lord then it is time for us to make amends and return to His love and care. When we are ready to forsake all that the world has to offer, it is then the Lord bestows His mercy on us.

The New Year is a time for us to reflect on the Love of God and thank Him for His mercies. St. Therese of Child Jesus has this story to share. Let us imagine the son of a famous surgeon falls down and is injured. He will ensure to give his son the best care to bring his son back to health. It is only natural for the son to thank his dad. But then imagine a situation where the father sees the stones on the road and takes them away even before his son could pass that way to ensure that his son does not hurt himself. The son completely unaware of this love will surely not thank his dad for protecting him or for loving him so much. The same way it is not only when we are in trouble but the Lord continues to love, protect and bestow us with His mercy every minute of the day. Do we take time to acknowledge His love and thank Him for His benevolence?

If my lifestyle is taking me away from the love of the Lord then it is time for us to mend our ways and walk in the presence of the Lord. Let us remind ourselves of the constant presence of the Lord in our lives and start this year with a heart filled with gratitude.

Fr. Prince Chakkalayil CST