Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
We gather today to celebrate “Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.” I’ll bet a lot of us are celebrating the coming of the New Year. The Liturgical celebration of Mary is a great way to put this New Year into a faith context.
The New Year is a great time to set out new goals, hopes and dreams for ourselves and our families. It is a great time to get that nudge to get on to some new direction in life with the January 1, 2017 date, the first day of the New Year.
We can put this year into a faith context by remembering that the shepherds that first Christmas went and found the new born Jesus lying in the manger with Mary and Joseph right there. They worshiped the Lord now born into the world. The multitude of angels sang God’s praises.
What does that first Christmas have to do with our New Year, January 1, 2017? Just as we want to begin new and better practices and patterns in our daily lives, so we can take a step to grow in our faith. We can decide to be like those shepherds, being in awe of how Jesus is born into our lives. We can join the angels in singing praise to God.
Not only that, but we can let our faith touch our resolutions for 2017. I really encourage everyone to seriously consider taking part in “Alpha in a Catholic Context” that will begin here at St. Luke’s on Sunday January 8, 4:30 pm. It is a 9 week program that will help all take a good look at Jesus and how our faith in him really makes a difference. It is not a complicated evening: there is a light meal; a 25 minute video; a time for group discussion. We will have child care. You can find registration slips after mass or by going to our web site. It is a great way to take a step to grow in our faith in 2017.
What other faith resolutions can we make? If you have not yet put the app “Laudate” on your phone, it is really great. On it you have the readings for each day. You have the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer that the priests say every day. You have the bible. You have the Catechism of the Catholic Church and daily prayers as well. It is great for those times when you are waiting and maybe in this New Year, it can be a time of prayer and reflection, right there on the phone!
By the time you read this, if all things go well, I will be back from several days in Arizona with my brothers and sisters gathering at my sister Mary’s home in Tubac, Arizona. May all of you travel safely over these days when the New Year begins.
May the blessings of the Lord come to you and to all of your families as we begin this New Year. May the presence of the New Born Lord be ever with us as we journey through all the days of 2017.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann