It's New Year's Eve, and also the Feast of the Holy Family. Today's Gospel has the story of 12 year old Jesus being surprised that Mary and Joseph spent three days looking for him. As the priest at Mass pointed out, at 12 Jesus knew who his "real" Father was. He said, "I must be about my Father's business." As holy as Mary was, she reminded Jesus that "your father and I are worried" about you. Imagine the anxiety of not finding your child after three days! So even the Holy Family experienced tension--a very human factor.
Today is also a day for giving thanks for all the good we received in the last year. When this year started, I was in Boston, thinking little if at all, of Canada. Now I am north of the border, and thinking a lot about Canada! This has been a year of surprises for me. Some of them have been very pleasant. Like St. Ignatius says, "I don't think I could live without certain consolations." So God has sent some consolations too. Knowing good friends is one of the biggest consolations I have.
Some of these friends keep in touch via email, some by letter, some by phone.
Of course, the biggest Friend is Jesus who keeps in touch in lots of ways. Only at times I know I did not recognize his presence.
I pray for all those who read my blog. Today I am "on retreat" enjoying a day of prayer and silence. For us Paulines New Year's Eve marks the beginning of our existence over 100 years ago when our Founder--then just a 16 year old seminarian--received the inspiration to start "something new in the church" with the press and other media.