We are moving into the New Year when people sometimes make resolutions. The hope is that some greater good will result. We may resolve to be a better person, a more patient parent or spouse – or all of these. We may hope to read, exercise, or pray more.
The past year presented us with once-in-a-lifetime global challenges. Even now, the pandemic and other critical issues continue to concern us.
I believe God graces us with the gift of hope, the roots of which run deep within us.
I recently was looking at some family photos from over the years. I noticed how often the photo background was the door of the family home. The photo occasions included all kinds of events and passages, graduations, first / last day of school, first formal attire, wedding day, First Communion, holidays, snowstorms, and many others.
I remember years ago, when leaving our parents after visiting them with our children, the grandparents would stand at the door of their home, waving good-bye. I understand they were sad to see us go. I think they were also waving us on – with great love for us and enduring hope in the future.
Parents and guardians with love and hope guide their children’s leaving and coming home. The family home is the place where we nurture babies, support toddlers, encourage school-age children, coach adolescents, and offer life vision to young adults. We hope that they learn to find and hold onto what is good in life, the goodness that God intends for them.
“Test everything; retain what is good.” (1Thessalonians 5:21)
Home is where we are loved and welcomed. It is the place where we first realize the hope that God graciously gives to us. It is the place to which we return for rest and reflection. It is where we first learn to pray.
I think home is also within us. Wherever we are, prayer places us at home with the Lord.
“Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days.” (Psalm 23:6)
Let us pray as a family this New Year with renewed hope to seek what is good. Let us resolve to give witness to the Lord’s goodness by the way we live our lives.
About John Dacey
John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.