Making the New Year a good year

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - January 1, 2021 - 12:00am

Unfortunately, we are still hearing that this COVID pandemic will still be with us for months and even for years. Let’s hope and pray that this piece of information will be proven wrong as early as possible, and that those things that are needed to end it are discovered and given to us. But even if that disturbing news holds true, we should not allow it to sour and darken our vision about this new year that has just begun.

If we have faith in God, we know that no matter how things go and develop in this new year, everything would just work out for the good. With God, we would know how to derive good even from the worst evil that can menace us this year. God is always in control, and if we are with him, we too can have a certain degree of dominion over whatever will happen. Whatever crisis we may have would always offer us a new opening for a greater good.

We should just deepen our faith so that our hope would continue to be vibrant instead of thinning, and our charity, instead of fading, would grow stronger. With God, we are assured that not only would we survive whatever trials would come our way. We would even prosper, as we would certainly learn new things, acquire new virtues and invigorate those virtues that we already have, be purified of the remains of the sins of all men, etc.

In other words, this pandemic would give all of us an occasion to get closer to God and to cooperate more closely in the continuing divine work of human redemption. That is how we should look at this news, so that not only would we be egged to prepare ourselves accordingly but would also lead us to see things under a very positive and meaningfully light.

We can also say that God allows these trials, challenges, and difficulties to happen because he wants to remind us that we need to get closer to him. To be sure, he does not directly wish evil to happen to us, but allows the limitations of nature and the abuses of our freedom to play out because he can always derive a greater good from them.

Perhaps what we can do to help us face the new year with a very hopeful attitude is to immerse ourselves in the celebration of the 5th centenary of Christianity in our country, which is also made more meaningful since 2021 is also the Year of St. Joseph, a most faithful man of God who can help us in strengthening our relation with God.

I believe that is a very practical and helpful way of living out this new year that strikes us now to be challenging. Instead of worrying and brooding, letting ourselves to be dominated by fears and anxieties, we would put ourselves in a pro-active, optimistic mode, doing a lot of good, the possibilities of which are actually endless.

With this celebration of the 5th centennial of our Christianity and the Year of St. Joseph, we are given a perfect occasion to learn more about our faith and to develop a more solid life of piety where we would know how to abandon ourselves in the loving providence of God even as we do our part as productively as possible!


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