There is something fresh and exciting about the start of a brand-new year. We take down the old calendar and put up the new one. And in that simple act, we symbolize the fact that we are not bound by the past. We can make every new day an occasion of grace, blessing, encounter with the Lord and the rewarding experience of connecting with those around us in ways that bring God's presence to them and to us alike. So take care to use these coming months, weeks, days and hours well in living out your response to God's call to holiness. May the good Lord fill every day of this year for you. And may your actions, words and decisions bring you an ever deeper awareness of how He calls you to Himself to give you His peace and joy.
This will be my last reflection for several of the weeks in this new year. As of January 1, I begin the sabbatical that will see me praying, learning, traveling and renewing over the coming six months. During that time, the clergy and staff of the parish will continue to care for you and share with you the loving call of God to discipleship and action. Father Greg Lesher will be acting in my name in many ways and keeping the day-to-day life of the parish moving forward. You will have a chance to see his thoughts and reflections in this space in the next several months.
I would ask you to please support him as well as the rest of the clergy and staff, and keep them and me in your prayers. Know that I will be remembering you daily in mine. I hope to have occasional opportunities to bring you up-to-date on what I am doing and how the time is being a blessing to me and my priesthood. May the Good Lord keep us all in His care throughout the new year.