Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus family,
Happy New Year! We are celebrating the 12th day of Christmas and have another week until the Christmas Season culminates in the Baptism of the Lord. How can we begin this new year differently? We are running towards the goal of our life, to know the Lord and live a fuller life now so that we can be happy forever. How can we celebrate a new year, aim for our goals, and still be realistic, all the while with a supernatural outlook?
First, let’s continue to be children: daughters and sons of the King. We follow the progress of the Wise Men as they follow the star. All their lives, these brilliant individuals developed their gifts and sought wisdom. But this was all in the service of a mysterious plan. As believers, they knew and experienced the hand of Providence in their lives. Do we?
My father always says, “Everything happens for a reason,” and “The Holy Spirit is in charge.” Certainly no one is bound to follow my dad. However his wisdom has served me well. Seeing things in the light of God’s Plan helps bring a calm perspective to growth and change. If we can look back and see God at work in our lives, then it gives us hope to face a better future, knowing that God is working out His Purpose for us.
This allows us to be open to the Epiphanies in our lives. Like the Wise Men of old, we should realize we are always searching for the meaning of purpose that God has for our lives. Many today might be thinking that their life has no purpose: just a few short years and that’s it. This can lead to a temptation to despair, or to think their is no reason for us to be here. This is where the wisdom of epiphany comes in.
Saint John Paul II describes this spirit of the wise men, the spirit of our lives:
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.
It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”
Jesus is the star of our lives. If we have know this, the more richer we are. If we haven’t known it, how wonderful it is to discover there is Person behind the mysteries of our life. We are not alone. When this kindly light leads us to Christ, as St. John Henry Newman say, it’s often amidst the encircling gloom. The light shines in the darkness for us.
Then if we’ve known or have discovered this, how to we grow in accord with God’s desire for us? Especially if we are weak? Then we must rejoice. It is a mark of God’s action that when He intends to do the greatest works He chooses the weakest of instruments. Our Lady was so aware that God was going great things through her, and that she needed Him. Let’s take that approach to our growth and service this year. God bless you.
In Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart,
Rev. Bjorn C. Lundberg