A Prayer for 2018
St. Matthew tells us that after worshipping the Christ Child in Bethlehem, the Wise Men "departed to their own country by another way." (Matthew 2:12 RSV) While those words might simply mean they took a different route home to avoid Herod in Jerusalem, I choose to believe there's more . . . that after embracing Mary's baby as the Messiah, the Wise Men lived the remainder of their years on this earth "another way" which was, by God's grace, a better way.
I don't know, of course . . . but the thought gave focus to my prayer for this parish family as the new year dawns:
"Father, having embraced the Messiah anew or perhaps for the first time during this Christmas Season: give us the faith to face life's challenges "another way" in 2018; give us the courage to commit to the truth of Holy Scripture and its defense; give us the strength to endure the hardships of Cross-carrying; give us the grace to be forgiving; and give us the confidence to step boldly into Your new tomorrow. For Your glory, may we live no longer as those who are waiting for the Messiah, but as those who truly have welcomed Him into our hearts and now abide in His peace. May it be so, Lord; may it be so! Amen."