Prayers and Dreams for 2018
With the exception of the turn of the new millennium in 2000, I never got into New Year’s Eve. Often in my previous life, I was on the road covering a football game, anyway. As an adult, I always viewed it as a night to stay off the roads, have a quiet dinner, maybe endure the boredom of watching the ball drop. But generally, I think of New Year’s Eve as just another night, one in most cases of false celebration.
Even before I entered the seminary in 2010, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1 were times of reflection on the highs and lows of the year, remembering loved ones and friends called Home, looking back on things to be proud of and areas of needed improvement in the new year.
This year, as I heard fireworks going off – why? — I got thinking, wouldn’t it be great if we had fireworks on Christmas Eve, right about midnight? For the Birth of Jesus! That’s something to celebrate.
I was moved by the Mass attendance on Sunday at 7pm, and throughout New Year’s Day, even though it was not a Holy Day of obligation. I shared with all at Mass on New Year’s Eve what a beautiful way to start 2018! And after, I prayed for the following:
- A day when we would have fireworks celebrating the end of gun violence and the elimination of the horrors of drug addiction.
- A year when more parents would be better examples for their children, and love them and teach them respect for others, for authority, and get them to Mass…and like in the old days, know where they are at all times.
- For more young people resisting the immoral forces in our secular culture and regaining direction and purpose in their lives…thru prayer and faith, led by parents doing the same…
I dreamed of a year when we can celebrate the end of abortion and the overturning of Roe v Wade. I wonder if there would be fireworks and jubilation. Or fireworks of a different kind? And I dream of a world without religious persecution, without poverty, without war displacing millions of innocent refugee families. I dream of a year when we can celebrate a world at peace, which we prayed for on Jan. 1.
Last Sunday’s Solemnity of the Holy Family, Monday’s celebration of Our Mother, Mary bringing Jesus Christ and Hope into the world, and the new year’s beginning is a time to ask ourselves how we can also bring Christ into our world with the same humility and openness to God’s will in our lives. And bring Christ to others, in words, example, witness.
In the words of Pope Francis, “May our gentle and loving Blessed Mother obtain for us the Lord’s Blessing upon the entire human family” and our parish family here at St. Genevieve in 2018.
Let us implore Mary’s intercession that the Lord may grant peace in our day, peace in hearts, peace in families, peace among the nations.
Wishing you all a Healthy, Joyous and Holy New Year, everyone! It’s going to be a great one!
— Father Kevin