Saturday, December 31, 2016

Farewell Speech For 2016

What a tumultuous year. (And I think that may be the kindest thing that could be said about the previous twelve months.)

Pick your subject. The 2016 United States Presidential election (and the nominating process leading to it). The seemingly sudden spate of deaths to notable celebrities these past 366 days. The increase of tension between opposing factions no matter what the topic. "Peace on earth" was nothing more than a wishful thought at times.

Even in my own private life, the ups and downs were as turbulent. A job in February didn't work out. A return to a seasonal position from last year was more physically taxing, as a severe back muscle spasm in August required a trip to the emergency room, where a MRI revealed a slight disk bulge between the 4th. and 5th. lumbar vertebrae, causing even more personal concern about what type of work could I do. Even a stint selling Christmas trees for a local store just seemed to demand more of my body. While the status quo is status quo, the plan to "Go Forward" had more reverse motion.

I must say, however, that completing my "Propers Meditation" was a success, even if it was just sticking with it. It is said that everyone has a book in them. Consider what I did a very rough first draft.

But 2017 will come with all its fanfare. As it should. And whether we are ready or not for it. We should cherish the chance to begin anew as we display a new calendar. The question is whether we have learn from those things that defeated us. Have we, and are we, in the words of author Matthew Kelly becoming a better version of our selves with the help of God's grace? (Of course, we need to define "better".)

So, where does one go from here? Where else? Toward God. Toward Jesus Christ. St. Peter had it spot on:  "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68) It is only "through Him, and with Him, and in Him" where we will find fulfillment.

2017 comes soon. Could it be worse than what came before? Possibly.

But, in our eternal optimism, in hoping with hope, we look for better.

May we find it.

As the lyric in the song "Send In The Clowns":  "Well, maybe next year."

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