It is winter, it is cold, we are waiting for another round of snow to blow in this afternoon. It is, as I write this, the end of 2020, those last few days when I spend time reflecting and writing or at least considering resolutions in preparation for the New Year. From a number of vantage points, I have reason to ring in and welcome January 1, 2021. I have many things I desperately wish to say good bye to. There are many changes and improvements to which I look forward, for which I am planning , for which I am consistently praying. I am in a word, hopeful. And yet, will the word January replacing the word December really bring all this about? It seems a great deal to expect.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, was and is a sign unto us. So yes, it seems it is true, a word can, indeed does make that much difference; only, rather than the word January, the Word, I think, is Jesus. My reason for such hope, rather the dropping of a crystal ball and midnight fire works, is the dwelling in me and in each of us of Jesus Christ.
We read in (1 JN:2) that the darkness is passing away and the light is already shining . In that reading, I am told in that if I love my sisters and brothers, I will remain in the light and nothing will make me fall. Conversely, in the same reading I am told that if I hate my sisters and brothers, I am and will be in darkness.
I hope for important things in 2021, so my resolution, I feel, is important; and must be more than self promises with regard to exercise and nutrition, books to read and minimalism to embrace. My important resolution will be to stay in the Light that John speaks of. That is so straightforward… and often so very difficult. I need resources to teach and inform me about my biases and prejudices so that I am able to truly love all my sisters and brothers. I need to actively work to show that love. I need opportunities to pray for justice, I need to embrace the person of Jesus, embrace the light I am offered. I need my Basilica community to work with me. And most thankfully, I have that. It is still January as you read this, it is time for more light, indeed, it is already shining.
The Basilica of Saint Mary