September is a time of new beginnings. Jesus believed in new beginnings. He told Nicodemus, “Unless a man is born again he shall not enter the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). He told the repentant good thief on the cross “this day you shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43) He told the woman caught in adultery “Is there no one to condemn you? Neither do I condemn you, go in peace and sin no more.” (John 8: 1-11)
New beginnings are important to us. We can all remember something that has changed us and set us anew on a different path. For some it was a new friendship, for others a new love, the birth of a child, the death of someone close, a sincere confession or a moment of grace and clarity. New beginnings are imprinted in nature with every dawn and sun rise. We pray in the Liturgy that the Lord would, “renew our youth.” The Psalms are filled with such hope.
This September, as school begins anew, as the economy struggles to come back, as our families and parishes bid farewell to summer and enter into the Fall Catechesis and Activity schedules, let us be mindful that what is new is not better unless it includes a “new heart” (Psalm 51) a “new, fresh spiritual way of thinking.” (Ephesians 4:17, 20-24) “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
May the prayer of Mary, Mother of God, who knew how to say yes to God’s new beginnings, be with us. May we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in our lives, so that “all these things shall be given to us as well.” (Luke 12:13). Happy September and new beginnings.
+Gregory J Mansour
(Reprinted with permission.)