Jn 1:1-18 Happy New Year!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Thank God we measure time. Thank God we invented “years”. Thank God they come to an end. Of course we all know that time and years are based on God’s creation. But the fact that we celebrate the end of one year and the start of another is of our doing, and so it is a great excuse to reflect and meditate on life, our life, and what we have done (or failed to do) with it over the past “year”.
How did it go? I know I have a lot of reflecting to do.
Who am I? This is a good question. It is open to discussion. Yet, the only person, other than God, that can give the most honest answer is the one that asks it. Only I know myself from the inside out. No one else does.
In Victor Hugo’s classic, Les Miserables, Jean Valjean asks this very question. He could easily (and correctly) have answered it by stating the obvious; that he was a poor convict, a thief and a felon. But one day, a holy man, a bishop, changed everything. In exchange for silver and freedom, he purchased Jean Valjean’s soul and gave it to God. He commanded Valjean to live an honest life, and from that moment on, the thief and felon ceased to be, and a new man, born from above, came to be.
God, and only God, can create and recreate man. How?
“To those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh…”
Have you sold your soul to the Lord? Have you given it to Him? Although his own people did not accept him, you can! I DID. I accepted Him into my life, and He gave me a new identity, a new birth, a new family and a new beginning.
Have you accepted the Lord into your life? Have you vowed yourself to the Lord?
When a couple gets married they take vows. When a priest gets ordained he takes vows. But my vows, like yours, were not made to a bishop, nor are they made to another human being. They are made to God. Those who vow themselves before God take their vow to God. And in exchange for their vow, the Lord converts the sinner into a saint.
Jean Valjean made a vow, and that vow directed his entire life. He was limited because of it. He was restricted because of it. He was forced to do things he never would have done all because of it. He became the man he did because of it. He became a saint.
At the end of this year, let us renew our commitment to our God. Let us vow our lives once again to the Lord. Let’s live our vows faithfully at the start of a brand new year, a year dedicated to faith.