Every New Year’s day we wish each other “A Blessed and a Happy New Year” and we send this wish also to our relatives and friends with cards.
Saying this blessing expresses our wish to descend good to the life of those to whom we speak. Blessing gives life’s force and a significant multiplication of all that is necessary for life and also, God’s help and closeness. Lord gives you vitality and all the essentials you need for life. He helps you and is close to you, He gives you Himself. The important thing is to know that blessing does not work automatically. There is need of cooperation. If we talk about others or with others well, then in a way, we already summon well.
The ancient people believed that the blessing has a great physical effect. The form of blessing is, always, prayer, as we see, for example, the Isaac blessings on his son Jacob, “May God give to you of the dew of the heavens and of the fertility of the earth abundance of grain and wine … and blessed be those who bless you” (Cf. Gn 27:28).
While reading the life of our Foundress, Blessed Alphonse Marie, we are always amazed by the contrast between so much of strength of realization, between such a simplicity of life and such radiance into the world. Isn’t it the grace of God which is at work in what happens to her, the blessing that is given at all times to all those who welcome it? She confessed that every evening she fervently asked our loving God for the grace to be able to serve Him the next day with perceptible devotion. She was therefore looking forward to the coming day.
The blessing of the New Year liturgy is known very well. It is the Priestly Blessing over the people when God taught Moses how Aaron would bless the Israelites. This blessing is threefold and it is so beautiful that was adopted by many religious and nations. We read, “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!” (Nu 6:24-26)
In the Prayer of Aaron’s Blessing we beg God to turn His face to us so ours can be shaped by His. God's face shining upon us should elevate us to new heights and build in us something positive and good. We often expect that the God frowns on us, and so we run away from His eyes. But when we dare humbly return to Him ... suddenly ... we see His smiling face. The Lord gives people the beauty, charm, etc. The most beautiful people are those in whom God has His seat. The life needs light, the light of the Lord. Lord’s shining face brightens all our sins and wrongdoings.
This New Year's blessing, first of all, recognizes that we, as people depend on God. Second, it expresses the wish that God gives the signs of His divine delight to them who receives the blessing. And thirdly, it wishes "peace", this priceless gift of being not just inside but also outside of prosperity and happiness. Today, we are witnessing wars and much violence. From the perspective of Scripture either war or violence, in the human world, does not belong. For Greek Stoic philosophy was the ideal of peace of mind and steadfastness. And it is not necessary to prove that the biggest killer of human relations is apathy and indifference. Therefore, our Holy Father, Francis, is calling for humanity and concern for others.
Convene an abundance of God to all and give thanks to God for His benefits. Let us be thankful for all the blessings, especially, for the priestly blessing at the end of the Mass, and bring it home. Let us be grateful also and use properly holy water, medallions, rosaries, lights, breads, cars and many other blessed things. Bless all your relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and all people you meet. Let us pray for the continuous support all men throughout their lives, in their good and bad moments.
“May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hands.” (Old Irish Blessing)
May God’s Blessings accompany you throughout the New Year 2023!