This time of year is a strange time of contrasts. We feel full of hope for a New Year, yet it’s also a time when many people feel depressed or uncertain about the future.
This year, like other parishes, we saw in the New Year with a time of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, attended by nearly 50 people. Once you’ve experienced this, you just know it’s the right way to end one year and begin another, as an expression of our hope in God rather than ourselves and our resolutions.
The readings at Mass at this time of year also help us, focusing as they do on the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, when he issues his clarion call to be converted, “for the time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is close at hand.” (Mark 1:15)
St. John Paul II describes conversion to God as “discovering His mercy, that love which is patient and kind as only the Creator and Father can be.” He adds: “Authentic knowledge of the God of mercy, the God of tender love, is a constant and inexhaustible source of conversion, not only as a momentary interior act but also as a permanent attitude, as a state of mind. Those who come to know God in this way, who ‘see’ Him in this way, can live only in a state of being continually converted to Him.” (Dives in Misericordia 13)
There is a good antidote to depression and a firm foundation for our resolutions!