Today is the first day of August. A new month. A new beginning. I blogged about the gift of the new month as a new beginning on the first day of July. Today is not only a new month but also Sunday, the beginning of a new week with God. We celebrate this new start every week as we gather to celebrate “the Lord’s day” with the Mass.
If we are to live the biblical ‘three score and ten years’ (ie score = 20), then our earthly life is made up of 840 months. I did some more maths and realised that I have used up 588 of my allocated months.
You are probably now trying to work out how much of your allocation you have used! Some of you will be in overtime! That is pure gift from God.
Wherever we are, we know that there is no reason to fear. Perhaps a little anxiety is natural, but we can allow this to pass quickly as we remember that much more than we embrace and welcome our struggling children and grandchildren, nephews and nieces, how much more will God embrace and welcome us.
We all have regrets about aspects of our past. We all carry some shame and guilt about our sin. However this is not a problem for God and therefore not need be a problem for us. That is why we have the sacraments – in these encounters God comes ‘down’ to us, and lifts us up.
One of the first things we teach students of theology is the “now” and the “not yet” dimensions of the kingdom of God. Yes, we are invited to be a part of the fullness of happiness and health with GOd for eternity, but the knowledge of this gift also affects the way that I live today.
In the knowledge of the future life of God offered to us as gift for our accepting, the struggles and anxieties of today fall into perspective.
This is the gift of the new beginning of the new month. This is the gift of every new week begun with God at Mass.