Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We begin a new Liturgical year with a very challenging passage from Luke’s Gospel. In fact, it begins negatively. It’s almost as if the New Year starts off with frightening prophecies. What is interesting for me is that what Luke tells us today is not just about what is to come. It is about what has already happened and seems to be continuing. A very cursory glance at our church, a look at our fifty-two year old nation, our region and indeed the world and we can see a fulfillment of Jesus’ words in the Gospel today. It is as if all hell has broken loose. Scandals in the very hierarchy, economic challenges leading to massive lay-offs, violence especially among the youth and what I call polarized globalization.
At this point I feel moved to say welcome you to a new year in which our church is inviting; us to journey through what I wish to call the Christ Event. And what is the Christ Event? It’s a cycle in which we recall and experience the effects of the Birth, ministry, suffering, death and rising of Jesus Christ the Son of God and our Brother. This Jesus tells us today that the way things are going, the way we all have chosen to live, disaster will continue. But that’s not all Jesus said then and says now. He said, and says, “When you see these things begin to take place, stand erect, and hold your heads high, because your liberation is close at hand.” And further on in the same passage he said, and says, ”Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive.” Welcome therefore to a brand new year that beckons us to “Stand erect, hold our heads…stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive. Please let’s promise today that the coming year will find us awake and praying for the strength to survive what challenges lie ahead.
A Blessed New Liturgical to you and your family.
Fr. Clement Paul.