Let us begin with renewed hope and much prayer that the coming New Year finds us on our knees and back into the arms of Jesus with His Gospel at the center of the human heart for ‘our sake and our salvation’ where it belongs.
“A generation comes, and a generation goes, but the earth remains forever.
“The sun rises and the sun goes down and hastens back to where it rises.”
For the past 2,000 years, Christians have known that our main task in this brief earthly life is the transformation and salvation of souls: our own soul, all souls; the souls of the poor, middle and upper classes, the souls of all colors and races, the souls of both genders, the souls of the young and the old, and the souls of the infirm and healthy. None of us are sin free, and none because of their race or social position is beyond redemption. We stand for justice and mercy, not revenge and hatred.
“Lay not upon for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But store up treasure in heaven.”
We are at once inside the “world” yet outside of it. St. Peter said we are pilgrims and strangers. The New Year is a good time to ask: what do we as pilgrims and strangers want while here on earth? What is the connection between the lives of a persons, their work, and their viewpoint on the ever changing political and cultural landscape each generation must face? What do love, freedom, worship and health really mean? What does the union of man and woman in marriage really mean? What are the essential human values and why is the sanctity of human life fundamental to our existence? We do not entertain an excessive fear of death because the price of eternal life has already been paid. We fight for the truth of the Gospel which has already answered these questions. However, God did not create us like animals who live by instinct. We have a “freedom to choose” to speak. Why would a believing and practicing Christian have to choose between Christ and the truth as if they are opposed? Jesus, for Christians, is the “Truth; as well as the Way and the Life. God is at once the Creator, the Redeemer and the Revealer of all Truth (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Jesus is the very basis of existence and morality in a world paying the price for trying to live without God.
For those who think they are caught between a disappearing and utopian past and a modern-day anxious and frightful future, come back to Jesus; He has a happier and everlasting future awaiting you. “[N]ow the spirit expressively says that in the later days some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared.”
Mankind is social. We exist in humble relationship to God and to each other. What we understand about those relations, how seriously we take them and our work for the common good shapes our viewpoints and character. No philosopher, scientist, artist, politician or military conqueror can take it from us, if we follow commandments in word and deed. Reality can be ignored only for so long because it has a way of reminding us, often with severe consequences, when we do. Today, for many, “science” is the new god with technology as its main sacrament. But just thinking something is true doesn’t make it so. One may think he is a bird “trapped” in a human body, but try flying with human arms and see how high you soar!
We Knights of Columbus believe in upholding the Culture of Life. It is a practice of supporting life from the ‘womb to the tomb.’ A culture of love and support for those at the dawn of life – the yet born and the newly born; children before the age of reason; the infirm; those who are elderly and in the twilight of life; and all who are suffering and deprived of humanity. We believe all Christians must be involved in the salvation of souls throughout the world. We believe in living by example to spread the Gospel of Christ through knowledge of scripture, church tradition and especially through works of charity to our fellow man. We believe in these ways and that the New Year will truly be a year of renewal of our faith and renewed victories in the fight for the salvation of souls.
HAVE A HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!
Ref: Ecclesiastes 1:4-5
I Peter 2:11
I Timothy 4:1-2
Wendell Jeanpierre Lecturer January, 2022