The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

New Year's Resolutions


January 12, 2018

I recently visited with a friend who is a manager of a health foods market in Grand Island. He spoke of the many people who desired to eat healthy as one of their many New Year’s resolutions. My friend wondered how long this noble intention would last. His bet was it would not last. Rather, as good as this resolution was for these individuals, it would be short-lived.

I do not hear of New Year’s resolutions today as I heard of them in the past. Are people becoming a little more realistic? Is the bar set just a little too high? Is this a mere exercise in futility? Whatever the reason for this apparent disinterest, I believe a New Year’s resolution is still a strong incentive for change. But, just as important, it is also an invitation to better discipleship and, especially, as it is reflected in our everyday lives of faith. We may desire to lose fifteen pounds or seek ways to exercise four times a week. But, do we, however, seek to live the Good News in a better way so as to share with others what we ourselves have received, namely, the new hope and the new life of Jesus which transforms all of us and all of the world? In other words, is our New Year’s resolution only about “me”, or is it about “we”?

Our God calls us each and every day to make known his presence and his power. For the most part, we view this call as something we must do. It is a task. It is a project. Granted, this call can be expressed and lived in this way. For instance, God asks me to be a little more involved in my church community regarding music ministry or some education endeavor. Obviously, this may be where God leads each of us. Nevertheless, I believe the greater challenge before us this New Year is to simply remain open to where God directs us daily. Yes, it may be something rather noteworthy, but, more often than not, it may be something rather non-descript and what, in fact, goes unnoticed. It may be visiting a friend who is chronically ill or taking a moment to drop a note to a long lost friend. Trust me, we are not too busy to exercise these quiet, sublime opportunities. We simply must ask ourselves; “Is this what God wishes me to do?” “Will I do this?” “Is this my call to discipleship?” All of this is certainly possible, for it only requires a willing spirit and an open heart.

This year, 2018, will be different if we want it to be for ourselves and for others. May our prayer be one then of both contemplation and one of action. May God bless you in the endeavor.

Fr. Mike McDermott

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church


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