We are just at the start of the New Year, which can be a good time to examine what our hopes for the coming year are, and what we learned or gained in the past year. Every ending is a new beginning, so now we have a chance of a new beginning. In Genesis we read “in the beginning God created heaven and earth”; so we can be sure that God is present in our beginnings too. Think now for a moment, what hope have you for this year? Is there a situation where you need to ask God for help and healing?
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3) When we invite God into our reality, when we become aware of His presence with us, light appears. It is good to remind ourselves that we do not go on this journey into a new year alone, Jesus accompanies us.
Recently we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord, when Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. With our baptism we claimed our belonging to a community of faith, and perhaps Jesus with His baptism affirms that He is one of us; in a way whatever He is doing, it is to show us that He came to bring us life, and a new beginning. In the Gospel of Mark we read: “And just as [Jesus] was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased’.” (Mark 1:10-11)
Jesus mirrors to us who we are as well. Each one of us is a beloved of God. It is much easier to embark on this journey of life knowing God is on our side. Maybe you have been crying out to God about a situation in your life, asking healing, asking help, maybe you are finding it hard at the moment. If you have, I hope that the words of Jean Vanier will bring you some encouragement, perhaps even some hope:
In order “to be cured one needs to be rid of one’s disease.
But to be healed one needs to learn how to live well with it.
Healing has to do with finding health in the midst of illness.
Healing has to do with finding wholeness, inner beauty, unity and peace.”
I wish you a wellspring of God’s goodness to accompany you this year.
Dr Iva Beranek is the Ministry Facilitator for the CMH: Ireland