– Br. Michael, ofm
The New Year has quickly taken off. We may still be relishing in the days of cheer of Christmas past. We may be stumbling through how to move forward with goals or resolutions. We may be stuck in a snow drift of uncertainty. We may be sailing along and embracing each day. Regardless of where we are at this midpoint of the first month of 2022 God continues to be present and God’s message of hope and love remains.
Psalm 96 says: “Declare the marvellous works of the Lord among the peoples.”
Have we taken the time to declare the marvellous works of this past week? Maybe it was a sunset, a connection with a friend, a delicious cup of tea, a kind neighbour, laughter shared or maybe it was a transformed heart or a fresh insight. No matter what it was, the marvellous works of God seem to come in small ways so that we can take in and begin to comprehend how marvellous God’s love truly is.
Each day marvellous works of the Lord take place. Pausing at the end of the day to recall which one touched us is a practice we can carry into the weeks that will become the rest of 2022. It will only encourage our connection with God and will loosen our tongues to declare the many marvellous works of the Lord even if only to ourselves. It will indeed increase our gratitude quota for the year. God delights over us so very much and so often we allow this delight to slip by us; maybe unaware, maybe too busy, or maybe not open to it, regardless, God continues to delight.
The prophet Isaiah says, “You shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give… you shall be a crown of beauty… a royal diadem… you shall be called My Delight… for the Lord delights in you… God rejoices over you” (62.1-5). Is this alone not enough to declare as marvellous? Is this not the gift given to us each day? Our God madly in love with us, calling us to life, calling us to let go of the destructive ways and the lures of the world. Our God declaring the marvellous works of creation, the creation of us as delightful, beautiful, royal and worth rejoicing over. In other words, Beloved. Called by a new name: Beloved. Rejoicing over us because we are beloved.
Nothing can beat the marvellous goodness of God’s love and the hope it instills in us. We must keep our eyes fixed on our God and the One whom God sent to us. The One who lifts us up in his marvellous love and redeems us and declares the delight and belovedness which is inherently ours from the beginning of time. Our God and our Savior gift us with the Spirit who activates in us gifts – a variety of gifts which we are reminded of in the first letter to the Corinthians. These gifts are expressed and shared uniquely by each one of us, manifesting the goodness of God and the goodness of each other, which in turn causes even more declaring of the marvellous works of our God. God’s glory and love and delight is revealed in our lives. As Saint Irenaeus said: “The glory of God is the person fully alive, but the life of humanity is the vision of God.” Again, a reminder that we are beloved. In little ways God’s glory is revealed and this is grace upon for grace for us. Let us not lose sight of this as we continue the journey of 2022.
God of the Journey,
you delight in us,
call us beloved
and walk with us all the days of our life.
As we continue to walk into 2022
may our hearts be awakened
to your marvellous works
which are present each day
in both the grand and in the small.
May we continue to share our gifts
so that goodness may abound
for all people.
May we continue to fix our eyes
on you and the glory of your life
in this journey.