A week has gone since the start of New Year 2019. Throughout this time, we have been sending and receiving many inspiring, motivating, encouraging, optimistic and exciting words of wisdom and prayers via email and whatsapp. Many of us have a personal collection of useful and favourite idioms of life, explanations of their meaning, scriptural words of encouragement and faith, as well as relevant life stories which we use to set goals as we move ahead. We often use these words, advice and prayers to bolster our life’s journey.
As we begin the year, we may be feeling excited and enthusiastic, but at the same time, perhaps a little anxious. No matter what feelings we could have, we need to press forward with our lives. We will face many new challenges ahead but we need to build the strength and courage to face all those challenges patiently. There are many spiritual conducts and disciplines which we need to prioritise in our everyday lives in order to grow spiritually, as we foster deeper intimacy with God and with one another. Each day, we draw knowledge and strength from the Lord Jesus, as we put Him first in our lives to guide us on a more peaceful and fulfilling path.
Every one of us desires to have a grace-filled year and we surely look towards greater happiness and fulfilment at the end of year 2019. We can achieve many things this year, but if we do not have inner peace, then everything becomes meaningless. This inner peace and happiness doesn’t come with wealth, with our good physical health and with our personal millstone achievements, but instead it comes from a deeper connection with God.
Our true and greatest achievements can be realised when we are kind to one another – treating each other with respect and love, and not hurting one another, either with our words or actions – especially with our spouses, children, family members and friends. When we are kind and compassionate towards those nearest and dearest to us, then that will be our greatest achievement and success of the year. That achievement is something worth celebrating!
If in the past we have been hurtful, kept a distance from, or pushed away people in our lives, let us now try to forgive and love instead. Trust that the Lord has a plan for us, and that He wants us to bring down our walls and mend broken fences, healing the pieces of our lives which have been hurting, by enhancing our true relationship with God and our neighbours once again. When we work hand in hand with God’s plan, surely He will bring peace, success and happiness in our lives.
The celebration of Jesus’ birthday has brought great joy, peace and happiness in all our lives. Many of us realise that it is not only about our own happiness that matters, but also the happiness and peace of all those around us. Life is all about creating happiness and it can be best achieved through self-improvement, self-acceptance and self-discipline.
We desire to do a lot of great things and put every effort into making all our goals and dreams a reality this year. Our kind actions and gestures towards others can make them feel loved, respected and happy. Making others happy is one of the best things we can do in order to have a great day ourselves. Even the smallest gesture of friendliness, kindness, gentleness, loving care and integrity can brighten the world around us.
This year can be the best of years as we place all our hope, trust and confidence in our Lord Jesus. “Treat others as you would have them treat you”, (LK 6:31) and God will bless you all!
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy