Hope for a Wonderful New Year!

Dear Parishioners,

My mother always made a pork roast on New Year’s Day. She said it was supposed to be for good luck, but had no idea why. Not a lot of questions were asked because we all liked it!

As I grew up, I discovered that many cultures have “lucky foods” that are eaten at the beginning of a new year. It’s soba noodles for the Japanese, lentils for Italians, black-eyed-peas for those living south of New Jersey. It goes to show you how the promise of a new year holds such a mystical at- traction for so many of us. There’s something alluring about what the contents of the next 365 days will be that sparks the imagination and dials up the excitement.

For me, the new year has less to do about luck and more about hope: the kind of hope that restores the spirit. It’s the kind of thing that lets you look through the pages of a 2018 calendar, not knowing at all what the empty spaces will be filled with, but having the confident expectation that whatever comes will be accompanied by the presence of God.

How to build that sort of hope? Through prayer, certainly, both private and with our faith community. But perhaps another way is through the practice of a couple of things which seem to have gone out of fashion lately: humility and kindness. Being humble enough to understand that God is ultimately in charge and being kind enough to each other as a reminder that we are all in the same, needy, boat. It seems to me those might go a long way in building up some hope for a wonderful new year..

Father John