A New Year's Message from Bishop Deeley

It has been a difficult year in our world. The shootings in Lewiston still weigh heavy on our hearts. We carry with us this Christmas season a prayer for the dead, and for their loved ones. The weather has been challenging this year, including a recent storm which has brought such catastrophic damage to so much of our state, and with the damage, much suffering. The ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza are symptomatic of our failure as human beings to deal with our differences. As we approach another election year, the polarization of opinion continues to divide us. In attempting to resolve our problems it sometimes appears that we are not really looking for solutions on which we can agree, or even compromise, but trying to gain political points by criticizing the efforts of others.

Do I have the answers? No. Do I think, however, that Christmas and its wonder point us in a direction? I answer, yes. And the response we need to make is the one God gave us in the birth of Jesus. He came humbly. And, in that humility he sought to show us a way of life for ourselves. If we are to imitate that humility it would begin first by acknowledging that this child in our midst, this Jesus, has answers for us. It would mean that we would admit that “I” do not have all the answers. We seek from Jesus a way forward for our lives, which is so important as we begin a new year.

The Gospel calls each of us to rejoice in Jesus’ love for all humanity. Each of us reflects the love of God and are tasked to see God in each person. When we approach life from this direction, we may see more possibilities in the opinions of others. We will also see the problems of others as problems we share. We will also see each other, all of us, as God’s people, worthy of God’s love.

Happy New Year!