A New Calendar Year
As we begin a new calendar year, it is good to both look back and look ahead. Looking back on the year, we should acknowledge both the struggles as well as the blessings we have experienced. Looking ahead, we focus on our hopes and renewed efforts so achieve them.
It has been a challenging year to say the least. For me, in addition to dealing with the pandemic and keeping our parish safe as we strove to meet the pastoral needs of our parishioners, I had to deal with the prognosis and treatment of my cancer. In a follow up visit in a couple of weeks, I will find out how the treatment did. I am expecting good results. The blessings I experienced was in the outpouring of prayer from parishioners. This kept me strong and the side effects of the radiation minimal.
Making our way through the pandemic, a blessing I experienced was the dedication of many parish volunteers and our staff who gave generously of their time, talent and treasure to help meet the needs of our faith community. Another blessing was realizing the “longing in the heart” of so many for the Eucharist and for community as we had to fast from the weekly, in person participation in the Eucharistic Assembly.
A new challenge facing me is aging parents. My dad is 90 and my mother is in her late 80’s. They have lived on their own until now, but with new health concerns they now need extra help. This week they are moving to Florida to live with my older sister. In addition, my two youngest sisters who live the area will also be moving out of the state. The challenge is not having family close by. However, the blessing is seeing how my parents instilled in my siblings a spirit of service and a desire to care for others. My parents are pretty amazing. They knew when it was time to downsize and sell the family home. They knew when it was time to give up driving. Now they know it is time to accept the help and care of their children. It is not easy. My mom has always been the one to care for ill relatives, but now she knows it is time to be on the receiving end. My siblings are finding it a joy to do so.
Looking ahead to 2021, what are the hopes you have? In what ways can you emerge from 2020 stronger in faith, stronger in love? Let’s build upon the blessing that have come to is in the struggles we have faced - even if that blessing was the realization of our own weaknesses. Realizing our need for help can open us more to the One who desires to help, the Savor who has been sent for us.