“Every time we open our hearts to Jesus, God’s blessing enters our lives.”

Pope Francis

I made it until about 8:49pm this New Year’s Eve. Every year, bedtime seems to get a little earlier as I recognize fewer pop musicians performing on television and my taste for champagne wanes. The last two years especially have felt like "The Gauntlet" from that old television show American Gladiators. I was one of the contestants, not the gladiators. As my bride and I took a walk the next day, we wondered aloud what 2022 would bring. "It’s gotta be better than 2021," I sighed. Tricia looked at me and reminded me I said the same thing last year. "It will be 2022," she said. "It will be the year He gives us." Later, as I scrolled through my social media feed (something I am resolved to do less in 2022), I chuckled at people’s comical farewells to 2021 and pleas for a different year ahead. It was interesting to observe all the unspoken expectations people were placing on this future year, in large part, based on their past one. It’s natural and often encouraged to look back before looking forward, but I couldn’t help but wonder what we might be missing when our hopes for the future are overly based on our hurts or pains of the past. How often do I fixate on whether this year or birthday or day is better or worse than another, and end up missing simply what it is in and of itself? What did it bring? What did I learn? How did I grow? Do I want to look back and look ahead to measure progress, or am I just too uncomfortable to consider where I am right now, today? What would it take for me to open myself up to what the Lord truly has in store for me in this year? I may pray for my "daily bread" regularly, but does it satisfy me? Whether you banged pots at midnight or snored through the ball drop like me, let’s pray for the gratitude to welcome all He will give us in 2022. Happy New Year!

by Daniel Cellucci

January 02, 2022

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