The word January once meant “doorway.” The old year closes and the New Year opens. We look back and reflect on what was, and what might have been. What opportunities we missed to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
As a Community of faith, we look forward to 2017 with perhaps some fear but certainly with hope. This is a time when we can meditate and reflect over the Good News in our hearts, just like Mary, the Mother of God, who pondered over all of the mysteries that unfolded around her.
New Years day has also a long and traditional history as a day of prayer for peace. This is probably thanks, in part, to the Christmas image of the angels and then the shepherds announcing the coming of the Prince of Peace. Each year, the Holy Father designates January 1st as the World Day of Prayer for Peace. The final verse of the traditional German carol “Vom Himmel Hoch, da komm’ ich her” – “From Heaven above to Earth I come” seems to capture the context of the observance:
“Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto us, His Son has given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad New Year to all the earth.”