My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Today there will be lots of counting. People will count and reflect on the years that have passed or on the 365 days we had in 2016. Just before the midnight those who will come together to celebrate NYE will count together the final seconds of 2016 in order to break into shouts of joy at the arrival of 2017.
On the final day of the year the Church reads the opening words of the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word…” which resemble the opening sentence of the whole Bible, from Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth…” However while Genesis takes us to the beginning of the world we are familiar with, the world as we know it, the world we can comprehend by our mind or our senses, the Gospel of John takes us on and unfamiliar journey which goes beyond space and time. “In the beginning was the Word…” is an insight into the existence of the Son of God before he became man, even before heavens and earth were created. In a prophetic way the Church on the day when the passing of time is celebrated offers us, immersed in time and space, a means of hope and strength which doesn’t pass: Jesus Christ “through whom all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him.” We acknowledge often that we have been saved through Jesus Christ but let’s also treasure and celebrate that God the Father has created us through Jesus Christ, that he has imprinted on us his own eternity which he shares with his Eternal Word, his only begotten Son and with the Holy Spirit. That’s why in the spirit of Christian faith let us look at the finishing year 2016 with gratefulness. St John says to us: “From Jesus fullness we have, all of us, received – yes, grace in return for grace.”
My Dear Fellow believers! If you recall some wonderful moments and events of 2016 acknowledge them as God’s graces which have uplifted you. If you recall some difficult moments and events of 2016 acknowledge them as God’s graces which have shaped you. If you recall some sinful moments and events of 2016 acknowledge them as overflowed with God’s graces which have made you turn to the Almighty Father like children, in their feebleness, turn to their parents for help.
Lots of counting is happening on this 31st day of December but I invite you today not to count but to name the graces you have received from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit this year. Once you have named them take your gratefulness for them with you into 2017.