Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy New Year's -

Happy New Year!!!!

A new year holds more fascination for me than the Christmas season. We wish those we meet a merry Christmas knowing full well that not everyone we meet will have a merry Christmas.

I spoke with a business acquaintance who shared that her sister had been shot by her husband who then took his own life. Her sister survived the attack. A co-worker lost his dad yesterday the funeral is Saturday. A friend related in a blog that some years ago her mother attempted suicide on Christmas Eve many years ago. She stated that the attempted suicide had stripped the tinsel off the Christmas tree for her.

Unfortunately I could go on relating stories that at the very least put a real damper on Christmas.

But the New Year is a bit different in that it has an element of hope. We can say without reservation Happy New Year. There is no pressure to come up with the perfect gift or traveling from place to place with little or no time to relax and spend quality time with family.

I must interject here that Christmas this year for me was wonderful for many reasons. I do have a problem with the commercialism of the season. But my Christmas is made special because I am married to my best friend. My children are healthy and happy and our daughter was home for Christmas. Having her here was a special treat that I will keep with me forever.

I have no idea what the New Year has in store for me and mine but I know and believe the following:

1. God loves me and I love him.
2. My wife will be there for me no matter what.
3. I am proud of my children.
4. My wife knows I love her more than life itself.
5. My children know I love them.
6. My dog reminds me to be loyal to my friends.
7. I don’t have a large number of friends but the friends I have are an inspiration.
8. Books are important to me.
9. Sickness and suffering are not necessarily bad they teach us to lean on others.
10. I would have enjoyed having lunch with John Paul II.
11. I see the future in the face of my grandson.
12. I have lived long enough to know the end is closer than it was.
13. Not knowing seems to be better than knowing.
14. Our faith has elements of mystery accept it.
15. One person can make a difference.
16. Getting old is getting old.
17. Wide eyed wonder does not have to disappear with age.
18. My parents in large part made me who I am and I miss them.
19. This past year went by to quickly.
20. I suspect this year will pass even quicker.

The list is not in order of importance. I hope you will take a moment to reflect on your past year.

I am not big on New Year resolutions but for those of you who are let me offer this advice.

Resolve to lose weight – Wonderful no gym membership required save your money. Simply stop eating so much and move around every now and than. Going to the fridge to get a snack is not exercise.

Resolve to break a bad habit – Well if you know it’s a bad habit than that ought to motivate you to stop _________ fill in the blank.

Resolve to - you name it – Most resolutions don’t last much past January 2nd.
Is it due to lack of will power or resolve? No failure has much more to do with unrealistic expectations. We resolve to lose 25 pounds in two weeks. Set a goal to lose 25 pounds in twelve months.

If you must make New Years resolutions. How about resolving to set realistic goals in your life, that will make 2008 your best year ever.

May God Bless You and Your Family. Happy New Year

Saturday, December 1, 2007


First Sunday of Advent
Matthew 24:37-44

Sunday marks the beginning of Advent and a new Church year. Advent provides an opportunity for reflection. Our focus centers on three areas, the birth of Christ, the second coming of Christ and discovering ways to invite Christ into our daily lives during Advent and through out the year.

We are familiar with the persons place and circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ. So familiar in fact that we may not see the benefit of reflecting on this wondrous event. But consider just a few topics that come to mind, Mary’s role in salvation history. Jesus is the son of God and son of Mary. The star, shepherds and wise men led to the stable. A king set on derailing God’s plan of salvation. The birth of Jesus provides a wealth of opportunity to reflect on how this single event has changed our lives.

Our scripture reading from the gospel of Matthew centers on the second coming of our Lord. Jesus used the days of Noah as a back drop to explain his return to earth. Advent encourages us to reflect on our spiritual readiness for the return of our lord. Are we ready if the Lord were to return today? The good news as long as there is life there is hope. If you find your spiritual life has gotten off track Advent offers a great opportunity to get back on track.

Inviting Christ into our daily lives sure sounds simple enough but trust me it’s not. The invite is easy enough but seeing Christ and finding ways and having the courage to let him control all aspects of our lives is not. Advent if we take the time to reflect can help us find the Lord in nature people and the events of every day life. Can you see him in the suffering of others? Is he visible to us in natural disasters? How about when we experience a job loss? Seems easy to see Christ in the good times of our lives. Consider this Jesus suffered should we expect less? I think not. We need to see Christ in all things. What better way to spiritually train than spending time during Advent reflecting on the birth and seconding coming of the Lord and making room for him in our lives.

Remember there was no room for him in the Inn the Savior of the world was born in a stable. Are we guilty of not making room for Jesus? The liturgical year provides us with the method and means to celebrate the Advent and Christmas seasons to the benefit of our souls.
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent a new beginning a fresh start, make a commitment to attend mass each Sunday throughout Advent. Make time to reflect on the true meaning of the season. God will honor your commitment and you will experience the Lord’s presence in a fuller way.

Have a blessed Advent