Greetings of peace to everyone!

These past few days, it is noticeable that most markets were filled with people who wanted to buy various fruits, foods, and other items which according to their belief, could bring prosperity for the coming year. Others would also heed to suggestion of various ‘experts’ so that 2019 could bring them abundance. However, amidst the excitement and festivities brought by the recent New Year’s Eve celebration, we Catholics are being reminded that January 1 is not only time to celebrate the coming of the year 2019, but rather a celebration dedicated to Mary, Mother of God.

We Filipinos are accustomed to making New Year’s Resolution. The usual items in the list are the following: to lose weight, to have a good health, to a have a happy family life, and to become a better version of ourselves.  We are making plans not only for 2019, but also for the years to come. We tend to plan things which could bring us happiness. We aspire for prosperity and abundance. However, there are times that even though we work hard and strive to meet our goals, we cannot find true happiness and contentment. It seems that there is an insatiable desire to strive for more, to the point wherein we feel that we are missing something. Sometimes, even though we reach our goals, we can still feel emptiness inside. Why is this so? Maybe the reason for this is because what we are planning is not aligned to God’s plan for us.

When the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary bringing the news of her pregnancy, she said YES without hesitation. Instantly she was filled with joy and happiness. Mary was exalted among others when she said YES. Her firm conviction to allow herself to become an instrument of God’s saving love made her more worthy to become Theotokos or God-bearer. Thus, just like what Mary felt, saying YES to God’s plan will make us even more happy, abundant, and prosperous, not only for 2019, but also for the years to come.

As a reflection for this New Year let us ponder, how many among us would opt to say yes to whatever God plans ahead for us? How many of us would resign to God’s will? Are we like Mary who could say YES with conviction and without hesitation to the ways God had prepared for us?

Happy New Year!

~ Jasper Christian Gambito/ St. Peregrine Laziosi Diocesan Shrine