Edith Stein wrote: “A new year at the hand of the Lord—we do not know whether we shall experience the end of this year. . . . The Divine Child offers us his hand to renew our [commitment]. Let us hurry to clasp this hand.” Is Edith Stein’s thought yours as we begin a new year? Although I wonder what the year will hold, I rarely wonder whether I will be alive at its end. But perhaps I should. The year stretches ahead, and my calendar is already marked with major events, some that may hold a huge impact on my religious community and my parish.
The future can be daunting, but my incipient fears are allayed as I look at the manger scene. The expressions on Mary’s and Joseph’s faces mix wonder and fear. Looking at the scene, I remember the Biblical reasons why Joseph and Mary rightfully felt afraid. Mary and Joseph seem to whisper to each other, “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.” Looking down at the Infant, they see the One whom the Angel named Jesus and Son of the Most High. His little hand is raised in blessing to renew my commitment. I clasp his fragile fingers. He is my Peace.