Homily – January 1, 2017

This month of January takes its name from the two faced god – Janus – his one face looks back, his other face looks forward – Janus was the diety of opening and closing – of ending and beginning.

The scripture quote I like best for Jan 1 is that quote from St. Paul when he writes – one thing I do, I forget what is behind and I strive on to what is ahead – going with confidence to the throne of God’s mercy.

We can look back over this past year and remember things that we wish were different, better – we can remember words and actions and attitudes we regret. These come first to mind. But these words and actions and attitudes were only part of the past year. Can we bring ourselves to remember the good things we’ve done, the kind and helpful words we spoke, our efforts to be more open to other people and the times we were there when they needed us? These positives were probably more part of our past year that the negatives – but being good old guilt ridden Catholics the negatives always take first place. God forbid we should acknowledge the good things, the kind and loving and helpful things we’ve done this past year. God forbid we admit, ’we are good people.,

So each of us can make our own the mind set of St. Paul – I forget what is behind and I strive on to what is ahead – going with confidence to the throne of God’s mercy.

Today is also the feast of Mary the Mother of God. Pope Paul V1 summed up the life of Mary with this simple phrase – she whose life was available to God. An availability expressed in her response to the angel Gabriel’s disturbing message – you shall conceive and bear a son and you shall name him Jesus. Be it done to me according to your word.

Like the deity Janus – we can look back over the past year and recognize all those times our lives were available to God as we met the needs of our brothers and sisters in need. We can recognize the times when, because we were so caught up with our own needs and desires, we were not available to God as we might have been.

Looking ahead to this new year of 2017 we pray for ourselves and for each other that each of us be given the grace of generosity and that our lives, as was Mary’s, be always available to God as we meet God in all those persons who come into our lives.

Made God bless us with a happy, healthy and especially a holy new year.