By Patrice Legoute
Around this time of year our loved ones speak of New Year’s resolutions they “intend” to keep, but around this time of year I can’t help but think of baptism and being born into new life. I can assure you that once that ball drops at midnight you won’t be cleansed of your original sins, but you will have a chance to start off the New Year wisely and reverently.
Last month I had the privilege of attending the funeral of a young woman who attended my alma mater, Incarnation School in Queens Village. As the funeral Mass began, we processed to the back of the church and my pastor Father John O’Connor sprinkled holy water on her casket.
He said something very powerful that has stuck with me: “In the waters of baptism she died with Christ and may she now share with Him eternal glory.” The same water sprinkled upon her casket was the same water from her baptism. This was used to remind us of a new beginning for her, that her life didn’t end, but rather changed.
During the Fourth Sunday of Advent, if you listened carefully to the Gospel according to Luke you would have heard of Simeon, who was a just and devout man. We know that in this beautiful Gospel, Simeon would not see death before he had seen Christ the Lord and when he did, he blessed God. This blessing Simeon said became the Canticle of Simeon, or the Nunc Dimittis: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your Word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
Everything has its season and even in the midst of this life, we can look forward to what God has prepared in the next! Simeon met the Lord and left us this beautiful prayer, which is said in night prayers and can be found in the Liturgy of the Hours. Will we meet the Lord in the coming of this New Year?
Legoute is a senior at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary and School, East Elmhurst.