In the midst of a brutally cold start to winter, it can be hard to imagine the newness of springtime with the grass turning green and buds ready to burst into flower. But in a way, Christmas and New Year’s Day are all about beginning again and starting anew.
The celebration of Christmas lasts for 12 days and near the middle is the first day of our calendar year. One can see the correlation between celebrating the birth of a child as the beginning of not just the child’s life, but also a new start for the family into which the baby is born. I find it rather significant that Christmas and New Year’s Day are so close together.
If we go deeper into the mystery of the Incarnation, we might be aware that by the simple act of becoming man, Jesus has blessed and sanctified the everyday actions of family life. Eating, sleeping, working, learning and teaching were all things that the Holy Family engaged in as Jesus grew to maturity. The venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “Our Lord spent three hours in redeeming, three years in teaching and thirty years in obeying…” Jesus was part of a family for 30 years, being a dutiful Son, not just to God the Father, but also to His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. Do we consider our work, both household chores as well as our occupation, as something holy? Do we consider the relationships within our family as something sacred, especially with our parents? Do we respect the body’s need for rest and give it the amount of sleep it needs? How about the need for food and drink? Do we hurry through our meals or do we take the time to enjoy the flavors and seek to nourish ourselves with a healthy variety of foods?
The calendar that we follow numbers the years based on the birth of Christ. While man has been on the earth much longer than 2,018 years, in a way creation was started again with the birth of Jesus and our daily life was sanctified through this gift.Perhaps as we begin another year, a good resolution would be to be to cognizant of the holiness of daily life in order to grow closer to God.
May you have a blessed new year in the journey God has planned for you!