Vibrant Living in a New Year

Wishing all of you readers a blessed and hope-filled New Year. We may deeply encounter Jesus in a new way this year.

He is "the face of the Father's mercy" as Pope Francis so aptly wrote in his letter of introduction to the Year of Mercy. This is not merely a warm sentiment or personal feeling. Jesus pierces time and space to become one of us, to assume our sin and brokenness and set us free. This is Good News, indeed.

Christ is our strong foundation and the Light of the World.

He is our hope, our shield, our refuge. 

May this Year of Mercy be one of tenderness, truth and deep encounter with Christ and others. If we want the world to change, we must be willing to continually encounter Christ and bring Him to others. We must willing to release our "grasp" on the offenses of the past; the hatred, resentment and indifference. It takes a lot of energy to carry resentment and close our hearts to God and others.

We must lay down our sin and choose greatness. Choose the better part. Choose life with Him. 

Pope Francis writes: "We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us. Pardoning offenses becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves. At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart. To let go of anger, wrath, violence and revenge are necessary conditions to living joyfully."

Wow. Yes, indeed. 

I have probably shared this story in a previous post but I remember being part of a wonderful 12 Step group a few years ago wherein a woman in the group was having a hard time staying sober. She came to a meeting one day and said, "I realize I have been asking myself the wrong question. This whole time I have been asking, 'What is the minimum amount I have to do to stay sober?' when the real question I need to ask is, 'How free do I want to be?'" 

I have never forgotten that woman nor the question she posed. I have asked myself that same question many times over the years. There is so much more work to be done- more freedom, more forgiveness, a more vibrant life. 

And isn't that what we all desire anyway? 

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