by Thokozani Mkhonta
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The occasion of a brand-new dawning year is often an opportunity to evaluate the past year and set goals for the new year. The goals which people set for themselves often express a desire to better the achievements or situation of the past year. This evidences an inherent desire in human beings to maximize their potentials and become the best that they can be.
Whilst it is desirable and commendable to strive for success all the time, there is a concern in the manner in which success tends to be perceived and measured in present times. It is recognizable that success has tended to be so much viewed in terms of material and monetary possessions. Thus, the goals which people set for themselves tend to be significantly oriented towards wealth accumulation.
Such an approach can be a temptation to us who profess to be Christians. There is a need for Christians to set Godly oriented goals for themselves. As we seek to achieve earthly success, we also need to seek success in Godly and heavenly things. Ultimate success lies in keeping with the will of God. The breaking year should thus be an opportunity to reflect on areas of growth in our Christian vocation so that we can be able to continuously do more of the will of God.
Selfless love is a fundamental principle of the Christian vocation which remains a challenge for almost all of us. It is also on the basis of love for God and neighbour that we shall be judged. It will thus be futile for us to seek earthly achievements whilst ignoring the need to improve our spiritual life. As we enter with hope into the new year, it is desirable that part of our New Year goals and resolutions may reflect the spirit of selfless love.
The solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which we celebrate as a Church today challenges us to embrace the command to love selflessly. God has set an example for us. It was out of his selfless love that he reached out to save fallen humanity, as the second reading recalls that: ‘when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.’ May Mary, the Mother of God intercede for us, that we may ever grow in loving God and others. May the dawning year be an opportunity to love and uplift the less privileged around us. And, may we continue to pray that the peace of Christ may always be upon us all.