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Father Muench Says...

A new year to accept God’s love

January 5, 2022

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

So, here we go again – another New Year. Actually, I rather enjoy all the New Year’s stuff, even the resolutions. However, I must admit I have never checked up on each year’s resolutions. On the last days of December, I really don’t take out my list from last January of the past year’s resolutions to check up on myself and see if I have kept any of them. I really can’t properly determine if I am a better person than I was last year.

So, what is so new about the new year for me? Is January just another month, another month to follow December? If we are going to make this a new year, it all depends on me; it all depends on each one of us ourselves. I have to create the newness. I have to create a new myself for tomorrow.

That means for me some changes. I will discover some newness with some powerful changes. Change is always good, whether we are young or whether we are old.

As I begin a new year again, I begin by thinking of Jesus and his part in my life. When I think of Jesus, I realize how much Jesus would have to change to come to be one of us and to bring to us the message of God – that God loves us all and loves us all passionately. God wants to be one with us in love. However, Jesus knew that if he came to our world in all the glory of his divinity, we people would have trembled before him. We would not have accepted him. We would have fallen down in worship before him.

This was not what Jesus wanted. Jesus knew that such submission would never bring understanding from us; it would never bring true happiness and love to our world. So, Jesus came in humility and weakness. Jesus wanted to give us love so that people of all time would follow him with our own free will. Jesus wanted us to love him freely and truly.

This would involve a risk. Some people might not accept him. And this is exactly what happened. St. John wrote in his Gospel, “He came to his own and his own people did not accept him.” However, some did accept him. He gave them a share in his divine love. Some of us, Jesus made children of God.

When we accept God’s love that Jesus gave to us, we experience our own goodness, and we are able to love God in return. Truly, this means we must change often and find ourselves new in the Lord. We must learn to love and truly become new and alive like the children of God. In his love for us, God made all of this possible through the gift of his son – born among us in Christmas glory. The presence of Jesus among us transforms us. We become new and alive in his love. In Jesus each of us has a brother who loves us, who became one of us and who shared our lives to the full. Jesus taught us what we can be and who we are. Not only did he share our lives, but he also shared our death.

We are blessed. God has showed us the way. God has made us special and new. We will be guided to make ourselves constantly new. We should be willing to share with others the love we have received so generously. For this we are most grateful.

St. Paul wrote this to the Galatians: “Brothers and Sisters: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons and daughters.”

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