2020 Vision for 2020
2020 – a year to remember or a year to forget?
Each of us will respond with different reasons for choosing one or the other, but one thing is certain: it changed us!
Plans suddenly cancelled, usual routines tossed out the window, changes in protocols to follow and restrictions to navigate – it seemed that some days were like riding a never-ending roller coaster.
Never have my hands been as clean or washed with such frequency. And, because of social distancing, no one is likely to accuse me of having invaded their personal space – at least not in the past nine months. I am also adept at responding to the first sign of a sniffle, something I tended to overlook or ignore in the past.
A catchy theme captured my imagination at the beginning of the year – 2020 Vision for 2020. It seemed appropriate to adopt as a spiritual theme as I accepted the invitation from Jesus to “Come and see” [John 1:39]. I saw 2020 as a journey just like that of the Magi.
The Magi – Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar – set off on a journey when they saw the star. They sought Jesus diligently and wholeheartedly. “For the Magi, encountering the child Jesus was life-changing just as a real encounter with Jesus Christ is transforming for us too. The Magi entered the house as searchers following a star, but upon seeing and recognising Jesus they fell to their knees and worshipped. Now they were no longer simply seekers but pilgrims, people of faith who had been touched by Christ and who were therefore unafraid to travel by a different way” [TS Eliot – Journey of the Magi – from God’s Word 2020].
I heeded too the words of Pope Francis: The Magi … a journey of the spirit … a journey towards the encounter with Christ. … A Christian journeys like this. Journey attentively, tirelessly, courageously… the journey of every man and woman towards Christ” [Pope Francis – The Gift of Christmas is Peace].
Thus, began my 2020 spiritual journey following Jesus, to bring my worldly wisdom to the foot of the simple, innocent child as a pilgrim on the road. I desired the wisdom to see the world and all it contains with the vision of the Creator God. I told myself: wake up! Don’t miss it! Be present to the miracle of the ordinary! God is waiting to be found!
2020 vision for 2020 – did I achieve it?
Well, God works in mysterious ways. Despite elective surgery being severely impacted by the pandemic, I had cataract surgery, first on my right eye, then, a few months later, on my left. It was not something that even registered on my plans for 2020, but it was a most pleasant surprise. I no longer need spectacles to see. I see clearly now. However, I cannot claim 2020 vision, as I still need to use spectacles for close reading!
Yet, beyond the physical, I see more clearly too in my relationship with God, through Jesus. It has been a year of getting closer to God. God always takes the initiative and meets us where we are. Because life became less hurried, less cluttered, due to the pandemic, I spent far more time in prayer, reflection, contemplation, and discernment. And I took yet another giant leap of faith.
Just as the Magi gave gifts to the infant Jesus, I too was called to give back the treasure of my life to God. The talents I am blessed with are gifts from God. What I do with my talents is my gift back to God. I productively used the gifts God gave me to serve God more fully during 2020.
I did accept the invitation of Jesus to “Come and see” and now I see. 2020 Vision? No, I am still very much a work in progress. But, to answer my opening question – a year to remember.
Our call to action: “The star (of Bethlehem) … is able to lead every man to Jesus … the Word of God… The Word of God is the light that guides our journey, nourishes our faith and regenerates it. … let us not forget to read it and meditate upon it every day, so that it may become for each like a flame that we bear inside us to illuminate our steps, as well as those of others who journey beside us, who are perhaps struggling to find the path to Christ” [Pope Francis – The Gift of Christmas is Peace].
May the Christmas spirit that always will endure leave its richest blessing in the hearts of you and yours. And may that spirit of Christmas remain with you throughout the coming year.
Have a happy, holy, and joyous Christmas, a golden day and treasure life!