Today is the beginning of a new year. A year of grace and blessing which the Lord offers to His children. This blessing for which we thank God is made expressly present to us through His Son Jesus, born from the Virgin Mary whose Feast Day we celebrate today. We celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Through her, true Peace has come to the world, and we are a part of the building up of it. This is why alongside this celebration, this day is also the World Day of Prayer for Peace. On this day, Pope Francis exhorts us all to “no longer think exclusively of carving out space for our personal or national interests; instead, we must think in terms of the common good, recognizing that we belong to a greater community, and opening our minds and hearts to universal human fraternity.”
Peace calls to unity, which Jesus came to establish with his message of love and mercy. Love and mercy cannot however be experienced without disciples. Therefore, I take this opportunity to invite all of us here in Holy Cross to reflect on our mission statement that reminds us of our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ. It is only through our commitment to that mission that we will make the kingdom of God present in our world. As we engage in the process of “Rebuilt” as guideline for our renewal, I invite each and all of us to make this process his/her own journey of renewal in our relationship with Jesus for the building up of his kingdom.
For this process of renewal to become reality in our parish family, we make the following acronym the leading life inspiration: V.I.P. (Volunteer, Inspire, Pray).
Disciples Pray: Through Prayer, we take the so many opportunities in our parish to strengthen our relationship with Christ. Prayer should and is the daily for our Christian life to flourish. This year is for us here at Holy Cross a year of renewal in commitment to prayer.
Disciples Inspire (Invite): Our way of life as disciples is expected to be an ongoing inspiration for others. Through our commitment to faith, we invite others to engage in a personal relationship with Jesus. After encountering the Lord, “the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” My life, words and deeds inspire others and invite them to follow and love Jesus.
Disciples Volunteer (Serve): This new year is also a time we are offered to meditate on the ways we can get involved in the service to the Lord in our parish family. We are invited to move from maintenance to mission, from consumers to intentional disciples by joining in a ministry.
As a part of Holy Cross, I define myself as a “Holy Cross VIP”. What about you? Who do you say that you are?
May the Blessed Mary, the Holy Mother of God, whose solemnity we celebrate today inspire us with her “YES” and help us respond to her Son’s call to discipleship.
Happy New Year and many blessings.