There is something magic about the word “new.” It conveys the idea of a fresh start; in life; in a job; in a relationship…a new beginning with a blank slate…like the clean-scrubbed feeling after we’ve made a good confession. It is not just the thought of beginning again, but also of leaving the old behind; hail and farewell.
The farewell part is important. We must learn from the past, but we cannot live there. We have to embrace the future. There is no choice. I like to repeat the old maxim that you cannot hold back the sunrise. The dawning of 2015 will offer each of us a new slate begging to be written upon.
What will you write on your slate? Will it recognize not only your hopes and dreams, but those of our brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution, hunger, despair, homelessness and hopelessness; who bear the burdens of war and fear?
New Year’s Day is also World Day of Peace. In his letter marking the occasion Pope Francis calls on us to “forge a new worldwide solidarity and fraternity capable of giving (our burdened brothers and sisters) new hope and helping them advance with courage amid the problems of our time and the new horizons which they disclose and which God places in our hands.”
The future is ours, but we must forge it together.
I pray that God blesses us all with hope and compassion in the New Year.