Saturday, December 31, 2011



By Rev. Francisco R. Albano *

The Lord gifts us with a New Year, and we are grateful. It is to be spent well that all may have greater life; that, more and more, the goods of the earth may belong to all, and so too the decisions of history and the gifts of humanness. It is to be lived well so that we could report regularly to the Lord that “the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the good news is reaching the poor.” That we are not scandalizing the people. That God is glorified in all things.

 We do well to take stock, review the past year, plan our development in such arenas of life as Christian nurture, worship and service, and to formulate appropriate strategies and methods. The new year requires more heightened awareness of situations and possibilities, and greater appreciation of the fact that people need one another for personal and collective plans to succeed. 

We do well to recall by month last year’s events of our personal and social life–the happenings that affected us and those we missed altogether to which we could have responded for some good. Perhaps as we reflect prayerfully on these events we may be able to discern trends and patterns of meaning in a larger picture that would utter God’s word for us for the new year. We could then be able to make resolutions, not too many, to push positive trends into the future and to remove blocks to them. 

The crucial key to the new year is to have a new mind – so that we do not repeat ourselves and our mistakes. Definitely to be discarded: pharisaical opinion that says salvation and holiness are a matter of simply following laws; the thinking of capitalist globalization that all life is business for profit; the outlook of militarists that power, peace and order come out of the gun; the conventional belief of science that there is no mystery to love and life; the view that we cannot see devas and angels. 

New mind means being clean of heart to see God’s point of view, and therefore taking the stand of the poor, deprived and oppressed. It is to think justice, peace, integrity of creation. The best is yet to be; choices narrow down to what must be done. A blessed new year to all!

May Yahweh bless you and keep you!
May Yahweh let his face shine on you, and be gracious to you!
May Yahweh look kindly on you, and give you his peace! (Num. 6:24-26)

* Rev. Francisco R.Albano, Rector, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Visitation of Guibang Guibang, Gamu, Isabela 3301, Philippines, and former Rector of the Ilagan Seminary

Fr. Albano is a notable Filipino poet and scholar of Phlippine Literature

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