Liturgically we begin the new year honoring Mary as the Mother of God. Scripture tells us that eight days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the child to the temple to be circumcised. There, Simeon told Mary that Jesus would be a light to reveal God to the nations, and that Jesus would be opposed, and her own heart would be pierced. Like Mary, we are called to be witnesses to God’s saving action and to open our hearts to God and to others.

Our new year’s custom of looking forward and backward prepares us for discipleship. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died Dec. 26th in South Africa will long be remembered for his role in ending apartheid and later as leader of the Truth and Reconciliation process. How we need truth and reconciliation in our personal lives and in our nation. Congress will soon resume discussion of many unresolved issues, including the protection of voting rights and the review of the events that took place in the nation’s capital last year as the election results were certified. Let us pray that all of us be like Mary, bearers of truth, justice and peace.