New Year of Reflection

New Year is always a reminder for our new hope in life. 2020 is the old year that we experienced many things; it is the vision of the coming year of serious thought or consideration. What will be our response this year 2021? Do we have to change the direction of our wrongdoing? Is 2020 a big lesson that we need a Divine intervention for answers?  

Luke 16: 19-31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in agony in this fire.’

 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’  “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house,   for I have five brothers. Let him warn them so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’   “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them. ” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.  “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “

 The dead does not know anything because the body returns to dust and the soul that sinned sticks to the ground and awaits for a new body to be regenerated until it becomes holy and perfect.  No one can be with God and see God without passing the processing of cleansing because our God is holy and perfect. After the fall of Adam, the begetter of sin, the first person who made a choice to be separated from God, it made us vulnerable to temptation. We can easily sin without too much effort and we are having a hard time doing the good work.

Jesus Christ came to our lives and He made it easier for us to enjoy life. He taught us to maintain the process of cleansing and preparation to come to our rest so we can meet face to face with our Creator, our Holy One. Every one of us has a purpose in life,  and like King David after serving his generation, he was laid down to his rest,  got buried and his body decayed. Those who died without surrendering themselves to be cleansed will have a life much more miserable.  I don’t think I am talking about reincarnation here, I do not think it is all about reincarnation.

We need to be regenerated, to be cleansed, and to truly submit to God with all our hearts and souls. We do not need to wait for the New Year or another time to come that might end up being too late. Luke 16: 19-31 is a good story that gives us the lesson about doing good in our lifetime, to be obedient with the will of God that will give us the path to life after death, a reward of everlasting joy.

Jesus requested the Father to send the Holy Spirit and that is the way the reconciliation works and our acceptance and true submission is necessary to have the indwelling of the Spirit of God. When we accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior, we obeyed the will of God as stated in John 3:16 and remember that the Holy Spirit is at work and is involved in our activities while Jesus seats at the right hand of God, which means his job ended on the cross and it is finished as he said. When we fail to acknowledge the Holy Spirit our new beginning will not commence and will remain in the old ways.

People do not need to die to have a new beginning or to wait for a New Year and have a New Year resolution. Every day is a day to have a new rewarding life. Repent and be baptized by the Holy Spirit now.

New Year is not just a one-day celebration or a month to welcome our new beginning. Our body is being reformed every day and our spirit is renewed by the Holy Spirit. Be mindful that we walk with the Holy Spirit in this journey every day.

May the good LORD bless and keep us all safe and secured. Happy New Year!

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D., Bishop Emeritus

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