New Year’s Eve for many people is a day of making specific and often ambitious resolutions. But in the back of our minds we suspect that within a short time we might fail and be left wondering if next year will be no better than previous years.

Perhaps the problem is that we aim at an ambitious goal and forget that food and fuel for the journey are essential? Let’s try instead to focus on the little essentials knowing that these will lead us to the greater goal.

It is often necessary to make a resolution towards an ambitious goal since the journey without a destination is just an aimless wander. But it’s helpful also to note that the word “resolution” comes from a 14th century French word meaning “a breaking into parts” and the Latin “process of reducing things into simpler forms.”

To use another word, perhaps it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution that is really radical:

The root and reason of human life is found in relationship with Jesus Christ. Without this relationship we humans are left with a nagging sense of incompleteness and the recurring stress of carrying a burdens that are too much for us.

A tree will only grow healthily if the root is strong. Perhaps the new beginning of a new year offers an opportunity to tend to our roots ensuring that at the core of our being all is well.

This is easily done, and helps us to experience the fact stated in today’s gospel reading from the opening verses of John: the Word became flesh, and dwells among us.

An Invitation:

  • Make a decision now to enter this new year conscious that Jesus Christ is the centre of your existence.
  • Resolve now to converse with Him honestly and openly at every opportunity in the year ahead and create these opportunities.
  • How about using a practical event reminder as a memory-trigger, a red light, a ringing telephone, a feeling of anxiety or a negative thought? This new practice will take an active decision and conscious commitment for the first few days but then will become a natural and life-giving part of your life. 
  • An example:  I use red traffic lights as one of my “prayer-alarms.” When I arrive at a red light and I’m alone in the car I turn off the stereo and converse with Jesus. He never misses and opportunity to give me what I need in these brief moments.

24 Responses to "resolutions"
  1. Thank you for the gentle reminding and gentle approach. You invite us to tend and care for the root to grow well and to grow deep .

  2. Thank you Fr John. And a happy New year to you too, and to all of you who have walked Advent together. Wishing you many blessings.

  3. Thank you Father John. I will miss your posts. God has given you the gift to “open our minds”. I will miss your posts and look forward to your Lenten posts. God bless you.

    • Thank you John – I loved your helpful comments throughout Advent and looked forward to each day when I opened my emails. When I saw another post this evening I thought what’s this? What a very practical way to come closer to Jesus. That resolution to remember to pray using triggers is a great idea, and once it becomes a habit it will become easier. I had stopped making resolutions but tonight I will start anew! Looking forward to the Lenten comments. God bless you and may you touch the hearts of many.

  4. Thank you Fr John. I like to sit with my journal at midnight each New Years Eve, and I like the idea of writing “2019 – Chapter 1”. There’s a sense of new beginnings and new adventures with Jesus, and that encourages and enthuses me. May 2019 be a year of blessings for you. I do appreciate your reflections.

  5. Thanks, Fr. John, for accompaning us in a so concrete way. Distances don’t matter anymore. Communion among us remains and is His gift and the evidence that He is among us. A Blessed 2019 filled by the experience of His Presence!

  6. Thank you Father John for your guidance and words of encouragement on my faith journey. May you and your ministry continue to be blessed. Blessings for this New Year.

  7. The Advent series has been part of morning prayer and therefore psrt of my day,
    Thank you, John. Fot me, “New Year” happens a week earlier with the birth of Jesus. The child in the manger is the newness of what may come in the next twelve months. May his presence grow strong in each one of us.

  8. Fr. John, many thanks and prayers for special blessings on your ministry. I shall look forward to red traffic lights, something new for me in 2019.

  9. A very blessed & Happy New Year to you Father. Thank you for all your wonderful thought provoking, informative & Faithfilled posts your never fail to deliver making me always eager to receive the next. Much appreciated thank you. God bless.

  10. I like the concept of WRAD – “going to the origin, essential”
    It suggests a greater scope and depth when praying for ancestors.

    Happy New Year to all.

  11. I like the concept of WRAD – “going to the origin, essential”
    It suggests a greater scope and depth when praying for ancestors.

    Happy New Year to all.

  12. John, I put a bulldog clip on The Book of Job and meandered through Advent with your postings. Thank you,I now have a wellspring bubbling up and loving rediscovering new ways of ‘being’. A ‘churchless reincarnation in the heart’ as Richard Rohr so beautifully expresses . Blessings for 2019

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