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Goodbye and Hello

In Fort Washington, the sky is gray on the afternoon of the last day of the year 2020. In our backyard, the towering maple trees and the not so tall apple, cherry, and peach trees look like skeletons, their once lush green leaves, now dried out and curled up, cluttering the ground,

Winter, as usual, is dreary, even without snow, which has come barely in sprinkles the past four years in the Metro DC area. The bleakness is tempered by the fir and pine trees, luxuriant in their green foliage and cones, standing by the fence. At our deck, where we installed feeders, sparrows, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds avidly poke their beaks on the seeds, while on the floor, a flock of doves, cardinals, and blue jays pick on the smaller seeds the ones above them have made to fall on the floor below (even birds take care of their fellow birds!).

In a few hours, the present year will belong to the past and a new one will usher in the future.

Evidently, people will not have all pleasant memories of 2020 (except the owners of Amazon Prime and similar big businesses, who increased their millions and billions out of those who, out of caution, had to go online to buy food, necessities, and gifts). The pandemic has orphaned hundreds of thousands and wrought untold anxieties and suffering to those who caught the virus even if they eventually recovered from it.

Would that this scourge had not come about. If only for this, no one will miss 2020. But we can not just say “the past is past and should be entirely forgotten.” For the past will always be part of the story of our lives.

For most of us, the past year may not be all good, but it cannot be all bad either. For it is in times of adversity where charity surfaces to a heroic degree, like those of the frontliners who risk their own safety so that others may live. It is also in times of helplessness that we realize that we are not the “masters of our fate” and we are therefore drawn to seek the Source of Help that we have ignored or not acknowledged before. It is also in realizing the blessings we have that lead us to give thanks to Him where they came from.

It, therefore, behooves us to bid goodbye to the outgoing year with humility and gratitude to God, the Giver of all Gifts including, most especially, Himself.

In a few hours, the new year will begin. May we welcome it with hope and joy and eager expectation. May we ask the Lord to make it a better year for us. May the new year make us grow into persons more faithful and more attuned to His loving will.

Soon Winter will be followed by Spring. The maple and peach and apple and cherry trees will bring forth their fragrant flowers that will turn into fruit that will sustain us. At my deck, the woodpeckers, sparrows hummingbirds and cardinals, and bluejays will continue to be fed though they do not sow nor reap. For God feeds them all. We are more than many sparrows, or hummingbirds, or bluejays.

May we continue to look at God’s providential love and to trust that He is there, always there, for each of us, in good times and in bad. He will make all things new.

God bless all of us in this New Year and beyond! #


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