By Susanna Bolles
As the numbers on your clock transformed from 11:59pm to 12:00am last night, perhaps you thought exhaustively to yourself, “Here goes to another 365 days of trying to transform myself.” Or maybe you turned in early with the hands of your clock striking midnight and your head laying restfully on your pillow, not a resolution on your mind. There might even be a chance that you are excited about the new year and the challenges you plan to overcome by mastering self-discipline and achieving greater self-control.
Whichever category you fit into, there is one thing you can be certain of, and that is the fact you will always be in need of grace. Fortunately, you have your Mother’s hand in yours as you step into the newness of 2017.
Today we celebrate not only a new year, but the Church also celebrates the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God; our Mother! On this Solemnity, in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI said during his homily “We may ask ourselves: what is the basis, the origin, the root of peace? How can we experience that peace within ourselves, in spite of problems, darkness and anxieties?” He encourages us to look to Mary for the answer. Mary experienced the unexpected as she journeyed to Bethlehem to give birth to her son, surely she did not anticipate giving birth to him in a stable. Yet through it all, she maintains an interior peace. Despite the unanticipated, Mary “is not overcome by events greater than herself; in silence she considers what happens, keeping it in her mind and heart, and pondering it calmly and serenely.” Mary exemplifies what it means to trust, and she does so with grace. As we hear in today’s Gospel, “…Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
Yes, the year 2017 may have its fair share of uncertainty and suffering, but like Mary, we need not doubt God’s Providence. Be comforted in the reality that questioning is normal, and God accepts our questions. He simply asks that we believe in His promises while we ponder and reflect with a trusting heart.
About the Author:
Susanna Bolle is the Administrative Assistant in the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis and a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry program with the School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas. When she’s not reading and writing you can find her brewing French press coffee in her kitchen, spending sunny mornings and starry evenings with friends on her porch, and reading wine labels in an effort to discover the perfect Pinot Noir. You can follow her travels at: http://fiatandalily.blogspot.com/.