Where are we, this New Year’s Day 2018, my friends?
Are we better off than we were a year ago?
What will 2018 bring for us?
Are we prepared for whatever the year will bring?
Will the economy get better or worse?
Will I keep my job? Get a raise? Be able to pay my mortgage and bills?
Will some crisis happen that will affect our country, our state?
Do we realize that “We never know” . . . what the next moment will bring?
Here are some excerpts from Pope Francis’ New Year’s message
Peace to all people and to all nations on earth! Peace, which the angels proclaimed to the shepherds on Christmas night, is a profound aspiration for everyone, for each individual and all peoples, and especially for those who most keenly suffer its absence. Among these whom I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers, I would once again mention the over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees.
Many destination countries have seen the spread of rhetoric decrying the risks posed to national security or the high cost of welcoming new arrivals, and by doing so demeans the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters of God. Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great concern for all those concerned for the safety of every human being.
In a spirit of compassion, let us embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands.
The wisdom of faith fosters a contemplative gaze that recognizes that all of us “belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth, whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.” These words evoke the biblical image of the new Jerusalem. The book of the prophet Isaiah (chapter 60) and that of Revelation (chapter 21) describe the city with its gates always open to people of every nation, who marvel at it and fill it with riches. Peace is the sovereign that guides it and justice the principle that governs coexistence within it.
Let us draw inspiration from the words of Saint John Paul II: “If the ‘dream’ of a peaceful world is shared by all, if the refugees’ and migrants’ contribution is properly evaluated, then humanity can become more and more a universal family and our earth a true ‘common home’. Throughout history, many have believed in this “dream”, and their achievements are a testament to the fact that it is no mere utopia.
And so I pray . . . .
Give us hope, Lord, this New Year’s Day.
A realistic hope that we might be a little kinder,
a little less self-centered,
a little more willing to go the extra mile for someone, even for a stranger.
We’re also in need of your mercy, Lord.
You are the all Merciful One.
That is why you sent your Son into our world to live among us and die for us.
Help us to be merciful too.
Give us the strength to be ready for whatever may come.
Give us the grace to be truly thankful, truly humble this New Year’s morning.
This is my prayer, Lord, for me, for our country, for our world.
And now, may we pray as St. Francis taught us . . .
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen!
May it be so! may it be so!
And now here’s this prayer sung by Angelina at Assisi. CLICK HERE. Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.