Jan 1, 2015


+ Pax et Bonum!  Peace and Goodness to you as we begin this New Year!

You know, our world holds up many people to be examples for us.  These people that world admires so much, have achieved fame, and success, and riches, and popularity, and to a certain degree, even a sort of power or authority in the world.  And every year, at the very end of the year, the world loves to tell us who were the best, who we should most want to be like.  And here at the end of 2014, all the lists are out.  And there are some common names among many different lists for 2014.  We should all want to be a music star like Taylor Swift.  And we should all want to have the personality and appeal of former NFL star and now sportscaster and pitchman Michael Strahan.   We should all be as creative and have the  business mind of Elon Musk, the president and founder of Tesla Motors.  We should all play tennis just like, and have the same drive as tennis pro Serena Williams.  We should all have the courage and integrity of pro-basketball player Jason Collins, the first openly gay active NBA player.  Mary Barra, the first female CEO of General Motors made several lists.  Amal Clooney, formerly Amal Alamuddin, is on several lists this year, not because she is a top-notch human rights lawyer, activists, and author, but because she married George Clooney, the actor.  Pope Francis made several lists this year.  So at least some in the world are recognizing that there’s more that’s necessary.  But for the most part, the people that the world holds up to us to be our role models, aren’t always such great examples of the Christian life.  The world’s values, and what God values, are usually two very different things.

And I think that is why we need this Feast Day.  And even more, this is exactly why we need Mary.  There were many reasons why Jesus gave us His mother, Mary, right before He died on the Cross.  We need this Holy Woman’s example, to be the people that God wants us to be in the world today!  There are lots of gifted, talented, even inspiring people in the world today.  But for 2015, we don’t need another superstar telling us how to be successful in a world that is passing away.  We need an example of how to make it home to a world that lasts forever!

Mary is that example!  Mary, by her obedience, by her faithfulness, by her ‘yes’ to God, Mary shows us exactly what we need to do to join her and her son, Jesus, in His everlasting Kingdom!  Mary is our example for everything that we are going to face in 2015.  And as we come here tonight, we don’t have any idea what will happen this year.  It doesn’t matter what 2015 will bring.  What we know for sure is that life will happen in 2015.  There will be babies born in 2015 and some people will die in 2015.  There will be good days and there will rough days.  Some of us will move in 2015.  And some of us will stay put in 2015.   And no, I’m not making any announcements.  I’m just saying that’s the way it is going to be.  It’s life.  But there’s life in this world, and there’s also life after this world.  And if we want to be successful at both, perhaps it’s time to make and keep Mary as our model of true Faith!

We have much to pray for and about tonight.  Wouldn’t it be nice if by December 31st, 2015, that all of us would be more in love with Jesus Christ, and more committed to the Christian life?  That can happen.  It just can’t happen if we’re only following the world.

There is something much bigger going on.  Mary knew that.  That’s why she’s pondering on, and reflecting in her heart on, all these things going on in our Gospel today.  Like Mary, God is giving us signs all around us every day.  Let us get this straight.  Pay attention to the signs.  Watch what God is doing.  And give Him every chance to amaze you this year, in your life!!!

+  God bless us,  all in this New Year,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                          AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…                               Pray for us !!!