By Father Victorin Kalassi Oussoï SVD
Earlier this month, we wished everyone a Happy New Year 2021. But, if we want this year to remain new and happy, let this year begin with: God’s blessings through Jesus Christ who is God among us, the breath of God’s Spirit in our lives and doings, and more importantly a plea for the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary through whom we regain our divinity and become children of God.
St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians reads: “God sent forth his Son, born of woman that we might receive adoption as God’s children.” This passage reveals our vocation as children of God. This is a restatement of the Christmas theme—namely, the Son of God becomes human so that all human beings might become daughters and sons of God. Moreover, it reveals Mary’s unique role in the story of salvation.
Mary is not only the Mother of God’s Son, Jesus, but also the mother of us all. And so, she brings bountiful blessings for all her children. Invoke her blessings for this new year 2021 upon all of us!
We call ourselves children of God. We associate being a child with trust, love, faith, hope, and the future. Let us go inside today and think about the extent to which we have lived as children of God in the past.
Sure, we have welcomed Jesus and decided to go with him and become like him. We can be happy about some of the things we have succeeded in doing. But there is certainly also a need for improvement—especially when it comes to faith, trust, love, and hope. We have the strength to do so because they are given to us!
What suggestions does the “old” year mean for the new? For the past year, I realized one thing most important in my life: the thing that sustained the mother of Jesus and sustained God from his incarnation to his resurrection. That thing is the love in our hearts.
If our hearts are right, the whole body will be all right. If our hearts are wrong, the whole body will be wrong. And by the body, I mean both the mystical and physical. The growth of trust, love, faith, hope, and the future depend on the health of our hearts. And indeed, if hearts are wrong, then marriages will suffer because love will not be there.
And if there is no love, then trust will disappear. If there is no trust and love, faith cannot survive. If faith dies, hope and future cease to exist. If all these things disappear, then, as humans our existence comes to an end. Isn’t that true in all of life?
Dear sisters and brothers, love restores us to peace while we practice it. To follow God’s will, we need to let hatred, unforgiveness, misunderstanding and disappointment go so that we can start over. Whatever happens to us, may we open our whole hearts to love. Let us always have room to love despite wrongdoings.
To be a Christian means to remain in love though wounded, remain in love though rejected and mistreated. To be God’s child is to love beyond our human expectations. Through this selfless love, we can cooperate like Mary, give birth to God in ourselves and in the world in which we live.