Let us journey through 2023 with God
What you need to know:
- New turn. The New Year starts a new chapter in many people’s lives. Yet, many still forget that God is the main author, writes Msgr Wynand Katende.
“The need for celebration is inherent in our humanity.” says St. John Paul II. We celebrate the gift of life. We celebrate a New Year by closing the old one. Despite the bitter tears we might have shed during 2022, we are still able to count our blessings, and forge the way forward with hope for the better in 2023.
The tradition of celebrating the New Year might attract criticism from some circles, calling it a pagan practice, but it is also true that paganism bears some seeds of goodness that God has planted therein. Right from Abraham, God has set us on a continuous journey of conversion from paganism. He only awaits our cooperation.
Reckoning of time
Celebrating the new year rhymes with our reckoning of time. In times past, many nations used their own calendars. But as nations interacted more and more, it became more reasonable to use a common calendar, especially for civic purposes. The Gregorian calendar proved demonstratively very close to the Earth’s yearly circumference of the Sun. The calendar itself is measured from the date of Jesus’s birth. There are, however, many other calendars still in use for social, religious, internal politics, etc.
Today we count 2023 years since God took control of the world affairs, through His Son, Emmanuel (God-with-us); hence the title “In the Year of Our Lord” (Anno Domini). Before Christ, the presence of God in our midst and life was somehow obscure. God was generally perceived to be a supreme being, very distant from our lives, from our ideas and from our actions. The whole of the Old Testament is one great promise, which would be realized with the coming of a powerful Savior/Messiah.
Jesus Christ calls us to accustom ourselves to be with God, so that we will be capable of allowing ourselves to be transformed increasingly by His presence (John 1:14).
Celebrating the new year, also gives us opportunity to acknowledge with thanks the invaluable contribution Christianity has made to the transformation of humanity (Matthew 13:33). During the last 2022 years, Jesus has gently and patiently influenced society.
Without force, He has attacked the forces behind evil. Jesus founded the Church as an alternative society, a unique people, who live by God’s law of love (Matthew 22:37-39).
Prior to the coming of Jesus Christ, human life on this planet was exceedingly cheap. But where the Gospel penetrated, human value, dignity and human rights have been observed; women and children, were elevated. Out of love for Jesus, tens of millions of people around the globe receive help through His Church.
The progress of the Western culture and Western society is closely associated with Christianity.
The focus on the importance of family and the sacrament of marriage can be considered as one of the main contributions provided by Christianity to the Western world.
Other outstanding contributions by Christianity are development of beliefs, rules, and moral principles and norms, ethics and philosophy, social services, art and politics.
Christian democracy is a political movement that has a close association with Roman Catholicism and its philosophy of social and economic justice. It incorporates both traditional Church and family values and progressive values such as social welfare.
With every new year, God opens doors that no man can shut and also closes doors that no man can open. His plans are always for good and not for evil to give you a future and a Hope. (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace ” (Numbers 6:24-26).
Did you know?
Letting the Lord’s words wash over you during meaningful times throughout the year, whether it’s a milestone birthday or a big graduation in the family, can be reassuring and comforting. Inspirational Bible verses can help mark these events as well as give you wisdom for what may come next. This is also the case as we approach the New Year. Scripture about new beginnings is always encouraging, as it gives you a fresh perspective as you enter a new phase in your life.