start at "the beginning" (rv 22:13)
"When the designated time had come..." —Galatians 4:4
We begin this new year, 2005, with Jesus, Who is "the Beginning" (Rv 22:13). "In the beginning was the Word" (Jn 1:1), Jesus. "He was present to God in the beginning" (Jn 1:2). Jesus is the Master and Lord of all beginnings.
Though many begin the new year with parties, drinking, and ambitious resolutions, some people regularly begin the new year at the midnight hour with Mass, rosary, prayer and praise, and/or small Christian community gatherings. They begin the year with Jesus, the Beginning. They are thus laying the foundation for the year on Jesus (see 1 Cor 3:10ff). Their new year, built upon Jesus, will stand up to the trials and storms that come (see Mt 7:24-25).
Mary is well versed in beginning with Jesus. When she said "yes" to the angel Gabriel, she began her life as the mother of God. She began with a great victory at Elizabeth's home (Lk 1:41ff). Yet that beginning turned to disaster as Joseph planned to divorce her (Mt 1:19). Mary had committed to Jesus, and God then remained faithful to His part of the commitment by arranging for Joseph to receive her into his home (Mt 1:20). Mary's family life began with a midnight flight out of the country to escape a murder attempt (Mt 2:13ff). It was a difficult series of beginnings, but God used it to work the greatest of endings.
With Mary and Jesus, begin anew. Even if your beginning in Jesus is a small step, don't be discouraged by the "day of small beginnings" (Zec 4:10). Begin the year with Jesus; stay with Him till the end. Then you will hear Him proudly say: "You have been with Me from the beginning" (Jn 15:27).
Prayer: Father, make 2005 "a year of favor" (Lk 4:19).
Promise: "You are no longer a slave but a son!" —Gal 4:7
Praise: Robert, once an atheist, began his conversion through a fascination with the Marian apparitions at Fatima. Mary led him to give his life to Jesus.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004