• January 29, 2013

A Human New Year

Kari & Dona Elvira - Peru 2012
By Rev. Thierry de Roucy

Not long ago, a Japanese friend of ours, on his way back from Tokyo, told us that during the hol­iday season his rel­a­tives had avoided wishing each other a “Happy New Year” because they feared this new one would be worse than the pre­vious, at the onset of which they had also wished each other a “Happy New Year.” This shows how ambiguous our wish of a “happy new year” could be. It is usu­ally a syn­onym for suc­cess of any kind, or at the least the absence of any dis­aster, of unem­ploy­ment, of ill­ness, of misery, of impris­on­ment, of family depri­va­tion . . .

Overall, to wish someone a “happy new year” means desiring that what­ever he/she dreams would come true: being in good health, get­ting a job that inter­ests him/her, having a family that sat­is­fies him/her, pos­sessing enough to live well, having the oppor­tu­nity to take nice trips. Conversely, it also means wishing that he/she would be spared dis­as­ters, ill­nesses, unem­ploy­ment, emo­tional dis­ap­point­ments, depres­sion . . .

As for me, a “happy new year” is a year that would allow everyone to grow in what is essen­tial to his/her humanity: namely, the ability to marvel at reality, the will­ing­ness to give one­self, to offer one’s own suf­fering, to unite one­self to Christ . . . . A “happy new year” will per­haps be a tough year, a year for the strip­ping of our self, or even a cruel year, but it would still be a year in which we would have remained standing in hope, strong in faith, faithful in love. A human year would be one in which we would have accepted to decrease, so as to allow God to increase in us.

I wish you all a “happy new year!” A very human year!

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