Homily for the New Year Day
Theme: NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNING
By: Fr. Gerald M. Musa
Homily for Wednesday January 1 2020
The word January is derived from the Roman god Janus, the god with two faces – one face looking at the past and the other face gazing at the future. As we begin the New Year of 2020 it is worth wile to look back, like Janus, at how we spent our life and time in 2019. We may reflect on the following points:
• How dedicated were we in our relationship with God through prayer, meditation and other spiritual exercises?
• How committed were we in spending quality time with our family and friends?
• How charitable and merciful were we towards other people?
• What was our attitude towards our work and how fruitful were we?
• What were our failures and achievements?
This kind of evaluation is important at crucial moments of our lives, especially at a time when we are about to open a new page in the New Year. The philosopher Socrates says, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”
Having examined the past, we could make resolutions and set down goals for a new beginning. Sometimes, we get tired of making resolutions because before the middle of the year, we find ourselves back to our old habits. It is still better to set goals and make resolutions than to resign on fate. Even though there is a difference between a resolution and a wish, but a wish is connected to a resolution when one is determined and committed to translate the wish into reality. “A resolution says, “This is the road map which I will follow in order to make my wish a reality.” For example, when a wish says, “I want to be more committed to my faith, a resolution would concretise this wish by saying, “In order to improve in my relationship with God, I would give one hour or thirty minutes to prayer and meditation everyday.” An additional example when you wish for peace and love in my family this year, you would have to plan how you would turn the wish into reality by giving more time to listen attentively to family members and by spending some quality time with them.” A wish is like a dream and a resolution is the willingness to pay the price for what we wish to achieve.
We hope for the best in 2020, knowing fully well that the Lord has special plans for us, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 20:11). We begin the year full of confidence in the promise of the Lord. He says,
“You shall build houses and inhabit them; you shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. You shall not build and another inhabit; you shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. You shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD, and their children with them. Before you call I will answer, while you are yet speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:21-24).
As we walk towards our set goal we are aware of the fact that in life, nothing good comes easy. Therefore, we’ll have to work harder than we did in the previous year in order to get to our desired destination and in order to achieve our set objectives. We can be sure that there will be battles to fight and demons to confront this year. We do not expect to achieve success and victory on a platter of gold. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “We are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:12-18).
At some point of the battle, it would appear as if we are losing the battle. When such situation occurs, all we need do is to retreat, re-strategise and proceed. Resilience is important for victory and we know well that those who quit don’t win and those who win don’t quit. We are aware that victory comes not only with our efforts, but also by the power of God. The book of Sirach tells us, “The success of a man is in the hands of the Lord (Sirach 10:5) and the Lord gives his people the assurance, “They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:19).
Prayer for the New Year: May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favour your burnt sacrifices! May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfil all your plans and may we shout for joy over your victory” (Psalm 20:1-5).
I wish you a very happy and fruitful New Year.