The beginning of a new year has something particular in Western culture, with traditions expressing a desire for goodness and new opportunities to grow as better sons and daughters of God. So, as we begin 2023, I wish you all the best. I am confident that in your families and thoughts, there is a passion to improve your lives, and that desire is a blessing in all that you do throughout this new year.
You must live each day to the fullest, without letting time pass as something that happens. Don Bosco always invited his boys to be better, saying "every second is a treasure." That's right, remember that every instant is a new opportunity to grow, to choose to love, to humanize the actions of our life. In Don Bosco's thought, every moment is a moment to know that we are called to a project of happiness, making those round us happy.
It is not about a good or a bad year, that is up to each person, depending on how they choose to live it, what we should seek for, is opportunities to grow, learn and enjoy things transforming them for the good of all, beyond the obstacles that will be encounter. It is beautiful to start 2023 "embracing life" with all that this means.
“The coming of the Kingdom of God” is a revolutionary movement that transforms lives, hearts, consciences, and the ability to see life, listen to others, and feel the reality surrounding us. I pray for a parish where kids, teens, young adults, families, and those part of this community are more loving, affectionate, empathetic, and determined to do good. This year we will find events, news, and challenges that may cause us to fear because we feel incapable or hurt; however, life with its challenges always presents opportunities to grow. Let us think of Don Bosco, who always learned from what he lived to grow in holiness.
This year welcomes us with new projects and righteousness. I am sure that by following Jesus like Don Bosco, we will learn to see where it is best to focus our gaze, love, tenderness, and affection so that they are well received, and from there begins a time of change and growth. On the first day of this year, we start with the feast of Mary, Mother of God, fixing our attention on the look of the mother who looks absorbed in the son she loves; perhaps from that look full of illusion and trust, we can "take off" this year with enthusiasm and determination.
Also, this month as a Salesian family, we have a lot to celebrate: the holiness of Laurita Vicuña, a young Chilean girl who follows in the footsteps of Salesian holiness. Also, Saint Francis de Sales feast inspired Don Bosco and moved his desires to holiness. And on the last day of January, as a family, we will celebrate Saint John Bosco, who was called to heaven on Tuesday, January 31, 1888, and this year, his feast falls on a Tuesday... it's quite an adventure in holiness! I am sure that from them, we will always learn to do something good for others, give up unimportant things, learn to love what we are as children of God, and share with others that call to holiness.
As we begin this 2023, let's believe in ourselves, embrace life, and face new opportunities without fear; knowing that challenges and opportunities will come every day to help us grow, it's up to us to say yes to happiness, as Don Bosco used to say.
Happy New Year!
Fr, Rafael Saiz, SDB, pastor