In only a few hours a new Church year will be upon us. We will be saying “goodbye” to a number of things at that time: Cycle A of the Lectionary, the “old” translation of the Roman Missal, a wonderful 2010/2011.
I have always liked new years, whether they have been calendar years or liturgical years. There is always something new and fresh to be anticipated, and I feel the same today as we leave what has become familiar to embrace what is new, yet reminiscent of what is old. The new translation of the Roman Missal is much discussed and laden with a bit of anxiety on the part of many. I suspect that within a few weeks, it will be “old hat” as they say, and we will wonder what all the fuss was about. I suppose I should be saying something other than that, such as the new change will be a splendid and deeply spiritual renewal of our parishes. We can hope for that, but such a renewal of parish and personal life invariably comes from an embrace of the Word of God and an longing for reception of our Lord Jesus in Holy Communion. This Word and Eucharist has been with us throughout our lives. It is what sustains us through thick and thin…. ask anyone who has lived through the worst of times and they will tell you this.
The Grand Hello we all in one way or another will utter in a few hours is in fact an expression of gratitude for what has always been since the time of Jesus; gratitude for his presence in Word and Sacrament to strengthen us in holiness and virtue; gratitude for his guidance through the many struggles of life; gratitude for who He is in all His splendor and majesty, all His humility and self-emptying to become one with us.
So “goodbye” to a splendid year of grace for all of us and “hello” to all that has always been and will be with us anew.
God bless all of you.