On New Year’s Day, the Youth 2000 retreat sadly (and exhaustingly!) came to an end. The four days were heavily laden with the grace and glory of God; for many, many young people it was a moment of personal conversion as they encountered Christ in Confession, spent quiet time with Him in the Eucharist day and night, and expressed and received their joy and love in times of praise.
Now I feel that this New Year is truly a time of newness – God makes all things new in Christ! He does this again and again in our lives, transforming our hearts more than he changes the situations we find ourselves in – precisely because this is how he transforms these situations. Especially coming from such a blessed few days I feel that this new year is a time when we can allow God to make all things new in us. Even – and especially – those situations or relationships we feel are hopeless, cannot change, will never be life-giving – perhaps these are precisely the things we need to surrender to the Lord in this new year to allow Him to transform them. Expectant faith seemed to be one of the themes of our retreat. The woman with the hemorrhage who approached Jesus didn’t think to herself, “Maybe he will heal me” – she knew that if she touched him, he would heal her. Let’s not give our problems to the Lord thinking, “Maybe he will transform them” – let us know and be assured that he will transform them – in the best way, at the best time.
So, being sure of the newness that the Lord brings – each morning! – we can be courageous at the beginning of this year in once again saying YES… Whatever trials or discomfort this Yes will bring, whatever changes it will require me to make to my plans, whatever comfort zones I will be invited to step out of, whatever areas of sin I will be asked to relinquish… Let us say a wholehearted Yes to the Lord at the beginning of this new year, 2012. He will make all things new.