Friday, November 29, 2019

Happy New Year?

Written by  David Polzen

Happy New Year?

 

This Saturday marks the end of another Church year, and on Sunday we begin a new Church year with the celebration of the First Sunday of Advent starting us off on the Sunday Lectionary Cycle of Year A (The year of Matthew) and the Weekday Lectionary Cycle of Series Year II.    I have noticed that we don’t bring in the new Church year as we do the new calendar year. There is no ball dropping in Time Square or champagne corks popping at midnight; but over the past few years I have introduced the concept of making a new year’s resolution for the beginning of the Church year; something very similar to the new year’s resolutions of January 1st.   

 

My resolutions in the past have been focused more on the spiritual side than on the physical (typical of January 1st: exercise, eating less, etc.)  So I began to ponder what I would like to make as my resolution this year.  And ponder I did. And then I pondered some more. As the staff I work with at the Cathedral will attest to, as they have mentioned it on a few occasions, “David, you overthink things.”  So call it pondering or overthinking, I do it. And I did it as I considered and discerned this upcoming new Church year.   

 

In the past my resolutions followed a theme of prayer: delve into lectio divina more, pray more of the Liturgy of the Hours, pray the Rosary more, pray the Liturgy of the Hours slower and more focused and reflective, pray in simple quiet adoration, etc.  So as I pondered and allowed a variety of options to swirl about within my head and heart, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an event just kept coming back into my thoughts.   

 

It was a time at daily Mass.  A little one, maybe about 2 or so years old, was at Mass with his parents.  This little lad was active and full of energy and loved to explore. His mom and dad did their very best to contain him, but every once in awhile he would escape to investigate some area of the Queen of Peace Chapel.   Now I did my best not to be too distracted, but every once in a while he would draw my attention. Probably a consequence of sitting at the back of the chapel, you get to see most of the happenings. In those moments that this little lad did catch my attention I saw him investigating things with great fascination, and it stirred my heart and gave me a bit of a grin on my lips.  It was cute. Then it happened. The mom and dad had this little guy contained in the pew during the Eucharistic Prayer and was never a distraction, then it came to the part of the prayer where the presider elevates the consecrated host and says, “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. …” Well, that little lad slipped out of the pew and scurried down the aisle, coming to a complete stop at the first pew, and then just stood there gazing at the elevated host in such a profound manner that it struck deep within my soul.  This little one stood there with a look on his face of incredible awe and delight. He stood there basking in the glory of what was in front of him. I wanted to ask him what do you see? Cuz my old cynical eyes were not seeing what this little one was seeing at that moment. My head and soul were saying, “Yep, that is the Lamb of God. That is Jesus, my Lord.” But eyes were seeing a simple piece of unleavened bread.  

 

This year I want to be more like that little lad.  I want to open my eyes to see the glory of God around me.  To see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Loving God, help me to see with such eyes.  Help me to bask in your Glory that surrounds me every second of every day.   

 

Happy Church New Year to you all.  May your Church New Year resolutions bear much fruit; and may the new Church Year be one filled with many blessings and graces.  

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