Pastor's New Year's Message
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
A Blessed and Happy 2018! Many went to parties and celebrate at the stroke of Midnight, others stayed home to keep warm in these frigid temperatures and many of our beloved brothers and sisters will be spending their New Year’s Day in refugee camps, in dilapidated homes, on the streets of our city or going to church that has lost its roof because of terrorist attacks. The news in our city of New Orleans will be even more frightening with another person or child being murdered.
As I was driving yesterday afternoon, much to my sadness, I noticed some Christmas trees already piled on the curb; thrown away, a sign that Christmas is over. The celebration of lights and songs will soon be dimmed and removed.
2017 has passed and 2018 is here. I will not give you specific advice as to what your resolution should be, but I will sit down and reflect on my resolution for the New Year. For the 38 years that I have lived, the New Year did not mean much to me, but Christmas did. For Christmas, to me, is a constant reminder that God’s love is steady and irrevocable. It fills my heart so I will be ready to face the world at any time.
I promise to be a better pastor, a better priest and spiritual father in the coming year. But I pray that I can face all my challenges with courage and confidence to be faithful to my household, which is the family and community of St. Benilde Parish.
If my resolution is based in my faith, in Christ and His Holy Church, I will always know my salvation is near, even if I did not lose the weight or start the exercise program that I planned. For this reason, I make my own resolution because the only one I can change is myself, with the help of God’s grace.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
So the New Year comes to give me new opportunities and fresh hope to stay the course, to forgive, to reconcile, and to leave behind all the worries and tragedies of the world because the New Year will give us its own tragedy and worries. So, if I live in the New Year, I live for the Lord and if the Lord is with us, who can be against us!
Our most powerful asset, as Catholic Christians, is our prayers. I can only recommend to you to make a new resolution to spend 5 minutes every day praying for peace, our nation, our church and our families. And in return, I will always keep you in my prayers.
So I pray that God’s love and blessings will come to all so growth and success will be from the Lord.
A Blessed New Year to all!
Sent by Fr. Robert Cooper on Monday, January 1 at 9:28AM