“On January 1st, the Church celebrates the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. I find it a very beautiful thing to enter a new year with Our Lady. Mary invites us to start the year with trust and vigilance.
Mary faced the future with trust. A true daughter of Israel, she had faith in the Lord and knew that God always kept his promises. She lived in his presence… She let herself be guided by Him. Her life was not always the life of a dream… She sometimes felt a sword of suffering pierce her. But she never let go of God’s hand. As her cousin Elizabeth said, Mary is “the one who believed in the words spoken to her by the Lord” (Lk 1:45). Mary’s trust is contagious. With her, we can really learn how to trust.
Trust is not the same thing as optimism. Optimism is rooted in the human person. It is a matter of temperament or analysis of a situation. Trust on the other hand is rooted in God. It is a fruit of the Spirit … Trust is born of faith in God. It knows that God is with us and guides us if we entrust our life to him. As Saint Paul says: “All things work for the good of those who love God” (Rom 8:28). Trust is abandoning ourselves into the hands of God. It drives away fear. It is a source of great inner freedom. It gives rise to unsuspected potentialities in us. Let us enter this new year with trust!”
“Our Lady invites us to enter the new year with trust and vigilance. She does not pay lip service. She is the servant of the Lord. She knows that it is not those who say “Lord, Lord” who will enter the Kingdom, but those who do the Father’s will (Mt 7:21). She always sought the will of God, discerned it in the events of her life, and contemplated it by reflecting on what she had experienced (Lk 2:19 and 2:51). She lived with great vigilance of heart and mind.
We too are invited to do God’s will. Like Our Lady, we must let ourselves be enlightened by the Spirit and see all things in the light of the Gospel. We must learn to discern. In a world where often the only norm is the desire of every individual, we must be heedful about what is the true good of man and society.
We must refuse anything that undermines the dignity of the human person. We must also be “awakeners” of hope, sentinels who know that after the night dawn will break. We must be witnesses of God’s mercy that wants to reach every man. Mary is vigilant. She invites sinners to convert and turn to her Son. Let us pray that—throughout this year—she may communicate her vigilance and make us night watchmen! Happy New Year to you all!”
+ Jean-Pierre Cardinal Ricard
Archbishop of Bordeaux (France)
Homily of December 31, 2014