By Father Frank Hernandez
It is hard to believe that we have come to the end of another calendar year and the beginning of another. This year has not been an easy one for us, 2020 had it challenges. A challenge that was out of our control, forcing us to rethink our daily lives and trying to be safe to protect ourselves, families and friends. This has been a year I could never have imagined in my lifetime. Personally, the beginning was a struggle for me because at my first assignment as administrator of a church, I was not able to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with my community. I was sad, but I knew it was for the safety of my people and the community.
Through all of this, I never lost faith in the Lord. Hearing the stories of friends and parishioners getting sick, dying, losing their jobs, struggling to put food on the table and losing their faith, the burden was getting heavier every day. I took all of this to the Lord, praying for everyone, so we can remain faithful to Him with this additional weight on our cross.
These last nine months have been a challenge; finding a normality to live our lives, our faith and trusting more in the Lord. To be thankful for the blessings we received during this time. Thankful for not getting sick or our family and friends or thankful that we recovered from this virus. Thankful for a roof over our heads, food on the table and being able to still give a hug to our family and especially to be thankful for our lives. This pandemic is not over and yes a vaccine is here, but it will take time for all of us to receive it and return to a life before COVID.
As we begin a new year and celebrate the season of Christmas in the church, we have to thank the Lord for His blessings. He does take care for us and He gave us His Son to help us on this journey as human beings. The Lord said in the book of Numbers: “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 grant you peace.” A blessing to the people through Moses and this is the same blessing the Lord gives us too.
My prayer is that 2021 will be a better year and we learn from the lessons of 2020, to value our lives, faith and one another more. But more importantly to trust more in the Lord, to truly thank him every day we wake up in the morning and ever night we go to bed. We do not know what the future holds, but I know we can do it together if we look to the Lord for help and guidance, nothing is impossible if we trust in the Lord. I wish you all a Happy New Year and God bless you always.