The recent holidays found us hosting family on a couple of occasions. For the past few years, we went to others’ homes for festive gatherings. This year, like years ago, we hosted children and grandchildren. There is great joy in seeing everyone and savoring the company of those we love. I think that whenever we gather around a table and share a meal, no matter the occasion, we open ourselves to the possibility of graced moments. To greet, host, serve, and converse are blessings.
At the evening meal on Christmas, our youngest grandson spontaneously observed how much he liked the food. He quietly said, “This is a good dinner.” His remark delighted us. We replied how happy we were that he was enjoying the meal. He has a hearty appetite, and our menu planning seemed to check all the holiday boxes for his preferences. We try to offer what delights our guests.
As the New Year begins, we might feel drawn to contemplate with gratitude life’s goodness. Notwithstanding all the heartache in the world and challenges in our lives, as faithful people, we try to be attentive to God’s goodness shining forth in all of our experiences, the people we meet, the moments we share, the goodness of all creation. We work to bring goodness ever more into our life circumstances, our families, and our workplaces.
I believe God’s Spirit invites us to seek what delights us, what is truly good. In this way, we find our best selves, most generous spirit, and deepest joy.
In the birth story of Jesus narrated in Luke’s gospel, the angels proclaim “…good news of great joy…” (Luke 2:10). In response, the shepherds go to see the child. The Incarnation brings infinite goodness to console our human frailty. God visits us, becomes one of us, embraces all of us, and by His Spirit, remains with us. Like the shepherds, we too are seekers, pilgrims in faith, looking, moving forward ever closer to the One who loves us into being.
“Happy are those who find refuge in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrim roads.” (Psalm 84:6)
Let our family prayer meditate on how our faith draws us to seek God’s goodness visiting our lives, calling us to witness the goodness in our families. We are pilgrims seeking, recognizing, and proclaiming what is good. God offers us what delights us. It is Good News.