Bidding 2016 farewell and welcoming 2017

Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino
Bidding 2016 farewell and welcoming 2017
As we ring in the New Year, let's take the chance God gives to make reshape our lives to be better and more meaningful

Do not attribute to 2017 qualities it – or any year for that matter – does not have.

It is no bundle of pre-determined events just waiting to be unraveled.There is really nothing to foresee, foretell or divine, because 2017 is what we will make out of it.

Time is the human soul distended — said Augustine, echoes Ricoeur. It is both retention and “protention”: We account for ourselves by narrating what has been in view of what we want to be.

So while 2017 does offer us a new set of possibilities, it cannot constitute oblivion of the past.

But instead of regretting what has been and rueing what could not be, accept what has been as part of the story of your life — for everything fits into the plot of that great narrative called: “My life”.

Time is ultimately what it means to be.

To be human is to bring about possibilities and to be responsible for the possibilities I bring to pass, fully cognizant of the fact that choosing one door often means having to close others.

To be human is to exist without illusions that I shall be around forever.  And therefore, it is to be more thoughtful about things that really matter, and what I really want to do with my life. 

Time is the birthing of eternity.

Eternal life will not start when we die, unless it starts now. That is why we start the New Year with the solemnity of Mary, the mother of God, for she who became Mother of God, became mother of life, and mother of all those who live because of him.

So, even now, eternal life must start, and it is as much a gift as it is a project. To live unselfishly, to live with generosity, to keep less and give more, to be more regretful about people I hurt than about possessions I lose, to be more caring about those who live from day to day, than for the cash I get on each pay day, to place myself in God’s hands and thus courageously go about making this world more beautiful and less cruel — that is the birthing of eternity.

That is what can make a year truly New. NOT REALLY “Happy New Year”, but “Happy New Me”, “Happy New You”…for that is the gift of God and the wonder of human freedom: our capacity to take the story of our lives down a different, hopefully better turn, and to realize the possibility of joy amidst pain, kindness amid harshness, generosity in the midst of so much selfishness.

Happy New Me and You… Happy 2017 to all my family members, relatives, friends in three-dimensional space and cyberspace…sincerely.–

The author is a Vice-President of Cagayan State University and Dean of the Graduate school of Law at San Beda College

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