I wanted to start with, "Wow, what a crazy year it's been." Then I realized that many people, like myself, are really tired of that phrase. I've seen it all around IG, Facebook, and pretty much everywhere else. Yes, this year has been crazy, weird, difficult, etc., but it's also been a pretty good year, too. Many of us have learned to step back and see if what we're doing is worth something in life. Hard things happened, too; people lost their jobs, lost loved ones, and it didn't seem like the world was going anywhere good. Still, good things went on. People got married, babies were born, the sun came out, and we took to the streets to enjoy a walk (or many each day). It may not have been what we expected-I didn't expect to lose my job or have my siblings, and I all crammed into my parent's house (thank you, mom and dad, for letting us live with you for so long!)-yet we all came together to see what was good.
Many of us struggled with our faith; I know that I was one of those for sure. It certainly felt like we were going through a not-so-extreme form of religious persecution, what with the governors allowing so many people into grocery stores and so few into the churches. It was a frustrating time, and even still is, but we must never give up hope. I believe that Hope was everyone's word of the year. I know that many of us choose a word that helps to find us throughout the year. However, I believe that hope is the one that we all had for the year.
Hope can be extreme; it can be something like waiting for a savior, such as the One that we Catholics (and all Christians) wait for and celebrate His coming at Christmas. It can be a hope that our child will heal from a scourging battle with cancer. It can be small, like the hope that the cute guy is working at the coffee shop or that the new jeans you just bought actually fit (thank you, COVID, for closing the dressing rooms). Overall, hope is something that we cannot--we must not--lose. There is a darkness that has clouded this year, yet the hope we have gathered has pierced it. May hope always linger within your hearts, minds, and souls, and may you all have a wonderful, safe, and blessed New Year!