by Fr. Tim Kremen, OSM
During my several years as full-time hospital chaplain, I came to appreciate the great value of support groups. Such groups exist for many of the crises we encounter in life, such as sickness, divorce, death of a loved one. The name of one series of such groups is New Beginnings. They strive to help people who are hurting from a loss to start anew to live and enjoy their life, by shedding the hurts and learning to get a positive outlook on life.
The term new beginnings so well summarizes Christ’s whole ministry: to renew all of creation – to make all things new and presentable for being returned to their Maker. And so I think the term well expresses our hopes for the new year. It’s a time for new beginnings, for renewing our lives to reflect the pattern of holiness God asks of us; the virtuous life Jesus taught us; the concern for justice; service to the poor and disadvantage and lonely, in the example of our saintly predecessors such as St. Jeanne Jugan and St. Vincent de Paul.
Thus, the value of new year’s resolutions: they help us develop the courage and the attitude to live as God’s children, casting off our sinful inclinations to live the love Jesus taught us, and learning to live lovingly in Jesus’ example of selfless concern and care for others.
Let’s pray that the new year may bring us a renewal of holiness in preparation for the glory promised us, and that it may be a new beginning of a joyful life without end in the Kingdom of Heaven.