Happy New Year to you all!
I was remembering a Mass last Christmas Season when our son, Fr. Nathan, was home. He was celebrating Mass at the Food Bank in Juarez. In his homily, he said our Lady, Mary, has a word for each one of us for the new year. He invited us to pray for a few moments in silence to ask Mary what word she had for us individually. As I closed my eyes, the word “Peace” came to me immediately.
I knew the word meant, “inner peace — the peace that only Jesus can give us.” The peace that reigns in our hearts even when things are not peaceful around us. I am a person who does not like conflict or tense situations. I do not thrive on debate or arguing a point. I often avoid it at all costs. But I also know that being a parent and living in community that it is important I share my thoughts and opinion, even if they disagree with others.
That gift of peace was definitely given to me this year. At tough times and stressful circumstances, whether in my family, community, or outside both, I would call on the peace of Jesus. Lo and behold (as my mother would say), there it was. I remember one time when I was particularly stressed, I went to the chapel and laid it down before the Lord, and asked for his peace. The peace of the Lord soon permeated my whole being. Only God can do that.
At the beginning of this year, I was thanking the Lord for that gift of peace he gave me, which in many ways was a life changer. Then I also began to ask Mary what was her word for me this year. Again, it came pretty quickly: “Detach.”
I have had children in my home for the last 39 years. My two youngest, Rebekah and Isaac, are still living at home. However in February, Rebekah is getting married and is moving out of the country. Isaac will be leaving home and moving out of state to go to Physical Therapy school. By June they will both be gone.
It is time to shoot out the last two arrows in my quiver. Time to detach. It will definitely be emotional, but I know it is time for both of them. Mike and I remind ourselves often that we do not raise children for ourselves to have and to hold, but rather they are raised for Jesus. They are raised to go out into the world, wherever that is, to make a difference.
I also believe that the word detach does not only pertain to my children this year but to stuff. Time to go through this empty house of accumulation and get rid of so much.
I am sure there will be more that Jesus and Mary will be asking of me to detach from. I will let them guide me through the year one day at a time.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and pray. Ask Mother Mary what “word” she has for you this year. In her tenderness, she calls us on just as she prompted her son at the wedding at Cana.
May your 2020 be a very blessed year for you and your loved ones.
Mary Ann / Mother Hen