To all in our extended and expanding SHA Community, happy New Year. With God’s wisdom and grace, may your wishes and plans unfold over the days and months of 2021.
As we end 2020 and begin 2021, we know there is good news and news that is not good. We recognize the truth that losses, sufferings and rancor continue to be with us; we also recognize the truth that millions of us are choosing to love, forgive, heal, teach, comfort, sacrifice and care for others. For faithful, God-seeking people, Pope Francis tells us, “The future does have a name, and its name is Hope.” He explains that hope is the door that opens to the future, and the only future worth our building is one that includes everyone. Life is about interactions, social inclusion, and just and peaceful encounters with others, no one excluded.
Being hopeful doesn’t mean we put aside the tragedies humankind and our planet are facing. Hope is believing that we are co-creators with a God who empowers us to witness love, unity and reconciliation; hope is believing in Jesus’ prayer that “All may be one;” hope is responding to our responsibility to hear the cry for harmony in our neighborhoods, country, world and Earth - our common home.
In a passage from his book, Embers, Richard Wagamese, reminds us that life is all about relationships. He writes:
“I’ve been considering the phrase ‘all my relations’ for some time now. It’s hugely important. It’s our saving grace in the end. It points to the truth that we are all related, that we are all connected, that we all belong to each other. The most important word is ‘All.’ Not just those who look like me, sing like me, dance like me, speak like me or behave like me. This means every person, just as it means every rock, mineral, blade of grass, and creature. We live because everything else does.”
May we continue to deepen our love, appreciation and connectedness with our families and friends and all that sustains us in our one sacred global community.
May hugs and handshakes, social and cultural events, and all that feeds our spirit be the homecoming of 2021.
Happy New Year!