It’s New Year’s Resolution season, a time for marking the passage from one year to the next by taking stock, setting goals, and seeking some type of positive change in our lives. Frequently, we take a look inward and see the gaps, the places where we could stand to improve in some manner, and then plan accordingly to try to close those gaps. I myself have had far more misses than hits in this regard through the years, though I do believe it’s a good idea to take a step back from time to time and to make that inward look.
As Christians, we understand that all of us are called to be merciful to others, to serve, to favor humility, and to take a broader look at life, to consider the longer view, and to proceed forward understanding that our true goal is to return to the one who created us. Our sense of purpose and meaning is heavily influenced by this sense of being called.
Have you ever wondered: What am I being called to do?
So, it’s New Year’s Resolution season and perhaps this is an opportunity to take an outward glance, to see the gaps and the places where those who we encounter could stand to have their lives improved in some manner. We are all being negatively impacted by the current pandemic, some more so than others. But this is taking its toll on young and old alike. I have commented on my own mother on these pages before; she is in a nursing home and facing isolation and loneliness due to restricted visiting practices designed to keep her and the other residents there safe. Those practices make sense given the outbreak her facility experienced many months ago, but they result in even greater isolation. Sadly, many today are in my mother’s situation, whether homebound or in nursing homes.
I am resolving to do more this coming year, to help those who are lonely and feeling greater isolation. In my parish community, we are organizing ourselves to more effectively reach out. Understanding that the pandemic poses practical and safety challenges, we are proceeding carefully and cautiously.
We are called to be merciful. To serve. We are going to try.