January 1st, being the first day of the new calendar year, the Church invites us to reflect again on the Incarnation and the Nativity of our Lord by recalling the truth of Mary being the Mother of God, the God-bearer (Theotokos in Greek (a term all Catholics should know)). At the beginning of the new year we recall our salvation and the mystery of God entering human history in the flesh! He has always been involved with us – creating us, holding us in existence, guiding all things through history towards the ultimate fulfillment of heaven and everlasting life with Him. But, in the fullness of time, God became man in the womb of Mary. What a gift, what a mystery!
This Divine and Human Drama is the dynamic that you and I live in every day. As we celebrate the beginning of 2023, may we appreciate that this year. Our lives are part and parcel of large and beautiful drama that Almighty God weaves throughout our history. Each of us play a part, each of us has a role, each of us has a mission, each of us in an actor on this Divine stage! He doesn’t need us, but He invites us to participate consciously in His work, just like He invited Mary and Joseph. Both of them said, “Yes.”. Our role and mission may not be as magnificent as theirs, but we still have the one that God has given to us according to our gifts and the time in which we live.
At the beginning of each year, we make resolutions (whether we keep them or not is a different question!). What will be your SPIRITUAL resolution or goal this year? What is your role and mission this year? Could it be to invite some family members and friends to church with you? Could it be to consciously fill your home and life with sacred art and music? Could it be to spend more time as a family around the dinner table during the week? Perhaps it will be to turn off your cell phone during your prayer time and quiet time with God? Maybe it will be to download a Catholic prayer app and use it daily? God has a mission for you this year. What is it for you?
On behalf of Fr. Peter, Fr. Joey, Deacon Lou, our IHM Sisters, and the faculty and staff St. James Church and School, I wish each of you and your families a very Happy and Healthy New Year!
Your prayers and support have been amazing these past 6 months as I have journeyed on this road of cancer which Almighty God has placed before me. I hope that it has borne fruit in my heart and soul and in yours as well. I will continue chemotherapy through January and have my surgery in the first part of February (we are working on the dates these next few weeks). Then, recovery begins! The surgery will be 12-14 hours, so I’ll be out for about half a day! It is intense and the recovery will take time, longer than it was after my emergency surgery in June 2022. I will convalesce here at St. James with family (blood family and spiritual family) caring for me.
May the Lord Jesus grant you and your families a Happy New Year! May you see His grace work wonders in you and in those you touch and encounter!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin