In Good Company For the New Year

What are you doing New Year’s?"

I’ve got great company for you.

Let me tell you about her…

If you walk up the right aisle of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, you’ll find her image in the chapel to the side of the sanctuary. In this image, she is called Our Lady of Guadalupe, and she is pregnant. This chapel, a couple of weeks ago, on her feast, Dec. 12, bloomed with thousands of fresh flowers, tributes from her grateful children, who look to her as a loving, heavenly mother.

Now walk over to the other side of the cathedral and stop in prayer before our beautiful crib scene. There she is again, joined this time by her spouse, St. Joseph, tenderly adoring her new baby, the Son of God and Savior of the World, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Join her, St. Joseph, the angels, the shepherds and the Wise Men in acclaiming Jesus as our Messiah.

When you’re done, walk to the back of the main altar, to the upper right corner of the cathedral, and find her once again. Her baby is now 33, and she is once again holding Him. But, this time, her Son is dead, taken down from the cross, bloody and beaten, and put into her arms. Here she is the Piet‡.

Same woman…same Son.

Mary…and Jesus.

Good company for New Year’s Eve and Day. In fact, the Church observes Jan. 1 as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

From the pregnant Virgin of Guadalupe, to the joyful Mother that first Christmas at Bethlehem, to the sorrowful Mother at the foot of the cross that first Good Friday on Calvary—she is there with Jesus.

What was your 2009 like? Loss? Sadness? Sickness? Death? War? Struggle? Happiness? New birth? Prosperity? Peace? Meaning?

Probably some of both, if you’re like the rest of us.

What will your 2010 be like? Once again, probably a balance of good and evil, light and darkness, life and death.

No wonder we turn to her as we conclude one year and commence another.

Mary had both: supreme joy at Bethlehem, deep sorrow on Calvary.

In both, she simply stayed close to Jesus.

Not a bad year’s resolution.

A blessed New Year! Enjoy it with great company: Jesus and Mary!