Posted by: Fr Chris | December 31, 2019

New Year’s Eve: Am I thankful? And for what?

1 Timothy 2:1-6    Luke 4:16-22

The Sabbath Day: Holy Day or Holiday? - Mormon Voice

The last words of the Gospel today are, They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”  And of course, it is not Joseph’s son. Jesus is Joseph’s legal son, but not his biological son. This alone shows how ordinary the life of the Holy Family was in Nazareth. They’ve heard of his deeds elsewhere and now wonder what’s coming to them in His hometown. If they were open to it, it would have been the celebration of God’s mercy and power in their midst. But they weren’t open to this at all – they all thought they knew who Jesus was, but they didn’t.

The epistle is classic Pauline – he emphasizes that all Christians want is the ability to live quietly, but in the Roman Empire that would really be impossible.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people But everyone in the empire except Jews had to be willing to acknowledge the ruling emperor as a god, as the intercessor for the empire with the whole pantheon of pagan gods and goddesses. Instead, we have one God, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have been saved.

Affirming Faith - Extra

We have a duty to pray for governments – in Europe they prayed for the anointed emperors and kings,  in republics we pray for the elected rulers and also all the civil servants who keep government running and for those in the armed forces. But the duty is to pray FOR them, not to exalt them on high. No mortal man or woman can take the place of God. The Divine Liturgy reflects Paul’s admonition, since we pray repeatedly for our government and military. Why do we pray for them?

We are asking God’s mercy upon them so that they will do the right thing at all times, and so that the Church will be allowed to live in peace and be able to proclaim its message, that God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. We live in a weird time where information is available at the click of a computer mouse, but now there are false stories, exaggerations, outright lies competing for the truth. To do research on the internet, you have to dig constantly, and a lot of people would rather believe the latest inflammatory story that fits their own world view, rather than be challenged to examine that world view.

Nate's Nonsense: The Missing Years of Jesus

Jesus and Saint Joseph in Nazareth 

Jesus could not work many miracles in Nazareth because most of the people did not believe in Him. They were too focused on His ordinary life with Our Lady and Saint Joseph, and could not believe that He was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies. Ironically, after Pentecost Nazareth became a stronghold of orthodox faith in Jesus Christ. When the Christians of Palestine were torn apart by heresies, they went to Nazareth to get their answers as to just who Jesus was. The descendants of His relatives and neighbors were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they could always give the right answer to those asking questions.

Just as we have to dig through the internet, we have to dig through Scripture and Church writings to get our answers. We have to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and have confidence in the authentic magisterium of the Church.

Too often in 2019 people have been angry, and people are much too prone to believing what they want to believe, not facts. People are much too willing to put all their trust and confidence in politicians, even though Psalm 143 warns us, put not your trust in princes in whom there is no help. Instead Psalm 124 says put your trust in the Lord who made heaven and earth.

Icon of The Creation of the Stars - (11T08) - Uncut Mountain Supply

And instead of saying what a lousy year 2019 was, let’s look more at thanking God we are still here, we belong to the Church entrusted with the fullness of God’s revelation despite all the sins of its members and leaders, we are still able to receive the holy mysteries of penance and Holy Communion, we have a very good healthy parish, and we are still living in a country that is wonderful despite all its problems.

It is up to us to make the most of 2020, by being people of prayer, people of conversion, people who love others in the name of God, people who are truly thankful to the Lord for all his blessings. Then we will be open to the Holy Spirit, then we will be able to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to those around us, then we will be a people on fire for salvation and for truth. Then we will be a people who are thankful, grateful, and happy. There is always going to be bad news, there are always going to be sinful people – including all of us here – and there are always going to be political messes in government and church alike.

LOVE IN THE RUINS: January 2011

Saint John Paul II wrote: Let us put our hope in Jesus, the Name of salvation given to men and women of every language and race. Confessing His Name, let us walk trustfully toward the future, certain that we will not be disappointed if we trust in the Holy Name of Jesus. The key to a happy life in 2020 is this: will I set aside time for prayer and union with God, as Jesus Himself did? Will I receive Holy Communion aware that it is Jesus Christ rejoicing to come inside of me? Will I receive absolution in confession grateful that God has shown His mercy to me? Will I be willing to dig for truth, to learn about the truth? Will I be brave enough to encourage others to come to church with me, despite the failures of Catholic bishops and priests?

Jesus says, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Indeed, it is completely fulfilled in our hearing every day of our lives, but only if we intend to make God and His Sacraments the center of our lives, on which everything else that we do is based.

May we be thankful to God for what we have, and may we all have a year of blessings in 2020.

~ Global Empower Media ~ Uniting Nations in Peace: Shroud of Turin, Prince of Peace I AM Akiane ...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: