This is a good time to reflect on the last 52 weeks. We can see many bad things that have occurred: the tragic loss of life in Iraq and in other countries, in our cities and in the suburbs due to violent crime, in the wombs because of abortion, and in other places because of natural disasters. We have seen the further corruption of morals through the entertainment industry and by the bad example of politicians and other public figures. The very definition of marriage is threatened.
God does not abandon us, nor will He. He has always remained with us. That is why many good things have occurred. We have the heroic efforts of people who defend and protect life such as those of our soldiers, police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, and rescue workers. There are the prayers and work of pro life men and women. They selflessly seek to defend and protect the lives of the most innocent and the most defenseless, those not yet born. They do this through education and awareness programs. Also, we have a number of so many others who do good, including our educators who are truly interested in the welfare of their pupils. The list could go on and on.
Even in television, radio, and movie productions there is good. Although not widely distributed, the film called The Nativity made its debut this past month. There is the blessing of the Eternal Word Television Network which many of us are able to tune in 24/7. It, as well as Catholic Answers, is also on satellite radio and through the computer.
In our own parish, many goods things have occurred -- enough to bring tears of happiness to our eyes. Just knowing each other is a joy. As a result of our Stewardship initiative, we have more and more parishioners giving their time and talent in various ministries. First and foremost, Thursday Adoration must be mentioned. Those who watch and pray are bringing more people to our Lord. Then, there are the stewards who give of themselves in liturgy, prayer, education, social concerns, hospitality, pro life education, and more.
Also, our parish has reached out to those in the community facing unexpected hardships. Our parish participated in special Masses in honor of Padre Pio, for the sick, and for those who perished on 9-11.
It is true that we can shake our heads at all the evil that has occurred. But, there is no room for despair. God effects good through people like us. Let us continue in humble obedience to Him. May we enter the new year with the resolve to continue using our hands and voice as He wants us.
I, Fr. Joseph, Msgr. McMenemie, and Fr. Dennis wish a very blessed and healthy 2007.
"The Gate of the Year"
by Minnie Haskins, 1908
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied, "Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!"
So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.
So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth his intention.