Happy New Year

The celebrations of Christmas and the New Year are intimately connected as is evident in so many Christmas greetings and lyrics – ‘♫ We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ♫’

What is the integration of Christmas, and the New Year? Christmas is the celebration of the long-awaited prophetic fulfillment of the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The New Year calendar is based on the Gregorian Calendar that western culture uses today. It has as its focal point the Birth of the most influential person to live on the face of the Earth, Jesus Christ. History has been divided into two eras, “Ante Christum Natum” (B.C. – Before the birth of Christ) and “Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi” (A.D. – The year of Our Lord Jesus Christ).

How easy it is to forget that the New Year is a religious celebration of the 2023rd Birthday of Jesus Christ. The life of the person of Jesus begins with Mary’s “Yes”. Therefore, it is appropriate that we begin the New Year with a Feast dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Since Mary is the Mother of God she is the mother of JOY. That is why the traditional greeting on this first day of the New Year is one of joy: Happy New Year! Many will be making New Year’s resolutions as we strive to do better and become better persons.

Here are 10 New Year Resolutions from Pope Francis:

1. “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”

2. “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention, and love.”

3. “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”

4. “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity, and worldly decadence.”

5. “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”

6. “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion, and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”

7. “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred, and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”

8. “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”

9. “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless, and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”

10. “Make sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping.” May God’s blessings be upon you during the Christmas Season and throughout the New Year.

New Year blessings,
Fr. John Poncini