Today is a Catholic day of obligation, meaning Catholics are required to attend a mass on the Holy Feast Day of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, also known as the World Day of Peace. Theotokos is Greek for God-bearer. As my Greek Orthodox friend told me that today is a very special feast day in her church. Catholics probably down play this one, but really I find it a beautiful double celebration. How better to begin a New Year than by honouring Mary while praying to be a God-bearer and peacemaker?
The homily today was good. The Jesuit presider recommended that one way of saying goodbye to the old year and ushering in the New is to do a year-end examen. Where in the last year did I fail to recognized God and to do good? When did I welcome the Christ and help establish the kingdom on earth? In conjunction with this feast I might add, when did I bear Christ to those most in need? How was I an instrument of peace?
As we look forward into the New Year, reflecting on how I succeeded in my walk as a Christian and where I need to be more attentive to when I stray off this path is a good beginning to making resolutions. I read with great interest what Pope Francis suggested as potential recommendations. None of them had to do with exercise or diet which are probably some of the top secular ones. Rather his resolutions were aimed at building peace through relationships–with God, with family, with loved ones, with the least of these, with your enemies, with your colleagues and those you serve at work, and with people in general. Bear God to all of these and peace will slowly infiltrate our world. Bear God and live simply, compassionately and wisely. Bear God and you shall discover answers you did not even know that you were begging to know about. Bring the Christ-child to all you meet in 2015 and watch with wonder what will unfold.