AMAZING – Reflections from the Christian Traditions Posted January 1, 2021 by admin@interfaith


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In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at:
Tom Bonacci
[email protected]
925-787- 9279
January 1, 2021
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
Actually, there is no New Year’s Feast in the Church’s liturgical cycle. January 1st is the Octave (Eighth Day) of Christmas. Following the pattern and wisdom of the ancient communities, the Church observes the Great Feasts for Eight Days. The modern observance of New Year’s adds another dimension to the Octave of Christmas.
Traditionally, this is the day Jesus formally receives his Name. Over the years, New Year’s Day has become a time to recommit to the pursuit of peace. Culturally, on New Year’s Day, we make resolutions promising to be better people. The observance has become an amazing time for renewal, hope, longing, and remembrance.
The Gospel for the Eighth Day of Christmas tells the story of the shepherds coming to the manger to see the new born child with his mother and Joseph (see Luke 2: 16-21). As the shepherds proclaim their story, the people who heard them were “amazed.” They proclaimed their message to a community suffering under Roman imperial rule. The Emperor declared himself to be “the savior of the World.” The shepherds gave their allegiance not to a tyrant but a Child who offered hope. Those “taking care of their flocks by night” declared a new born was no less than the true “Savior of the World.” The people were amazed at what they said.
The word “amaze” is transformative, powerful, and challenging. It takes great courage to be amazed when so much for so long has been tense, disappointing, alarming, and uncertain. Yet, we live in amazing times:
No matter how wicked some officials might be, there are still people working for justice who are simply amazing.
No matter how insensitive the powerful can be, people continue to come to the rescue of one another. Their courage is amazing.
No matter how cruel the greedy become, the generosity of the many Is amazing.
No matter how cold the night, the warmth of the heart Is amazing.
No matter how violent the moment, the pursuit of peace Is amazing.
No matter how far apart we might be, the longing to be together Is amazing.
No matter how uncertain the future, the hard work of so many in the present Is amazing.
On this New Year’s Day, we gather in spirit and song remembering a year of heartbreak and sorrow, courage and hope, generosity and self-giving. Realizing our troubles are not over, we are, nonetheless, amazed, thankful, and dedicated to be more amazing than ever.
Thank you, Holy Community, for being a shepherd, thank you for being amazing in what you say, what you do, and who you are. Thank you for striving to be the love of Christ to everyone you meet.
© red10