Pastoral Message from the January Beacon
Dear Faithful and Friends of the Assumption,
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. ” John 16:33
A new year is now upon us, and, I can’t imagine that there is any person that hasn’t thought something like, “I am happy to see 2020 go and am hopeful for 2021.” It is natural to always be looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel.” The challenges of 2020 have been overwhelming making it look like one long tunnel!
We, as Christians, are called to be “in the world, but not of the world.” In other words, we need to exist in a world that is carnal (of the flesh), but we don’t need to allow the flesh to define what is truly important to us. We must look at the world through the lens of our faith; always discerning the will of God and the importance of focus on salvation. In the end, we all will end up in eternity—if we truly understand this, should not the pursuit of salvation be paramount? What on this earth is more important than what is to come?
It is during times of tribulation that we must look more closely at our path. From a distance, it may look as though it was entirely wrought with misfortune, but when examined closely, God’s grace is evident. I am so thankful for the people in my life—those who I had the blessing of become closer with this year, and those who entered my life as a result of the crisis in which we are. This crisis has revealed what truly exists within the inner person—for some, beauty, kindness, love, philanthropy and true faith have emanated; for others, not so much. What is truly heartening is that the goodness of humanity has greatly dwarfed those who are centered on the self.
I am convinced that many of the blessings that we have realized would have not become manifest without the tribulation. So I must proclaim, “Glory to God in the midst of this tribulation. Glory to God, who has allowed this suffering to become a seed of spiritual growth. Glory to God for His beneficence!”
I encourage each of us to take more than a moment to reflect closely on the past year. I am convinced that each of us will find many blessings for which we are truly grateful. For, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” -Jesus
Praying for God’s Grace and Blessing in the New Year filled with spiritual joy and health, I remain,
In His ever-abiding love,
Attract, Serve, Illuminate