A new year is here, 2020 — bringing us new life, new spirit, new hope, a gift from the Lord!
As we begin the new year, we are reminded of the Gospel of Luke: 4:42: “At daybreak, Jesus left and looked for a solitary place.” There He prayed.
Like Jesus, it’s important to begin our day talking to God before doing any tasks. Thanking Him and asking for His blessings are more than enough to carry us through a day’s struggle.I recall growing up awakened by mother’s praying at early dawn in our house as father bid her goodbye, not forgetting to make the sign of the cross on his way to the farm. Ready for school, I then asked for my mother’s blessing. At dawn on the road, I would find fishermen alighting from their bancas with hauls of fresh fish from the sea. I also saw farmers with carabaos in tow going to the field, and women with baskets hurrying to the market. I knew all these people. They uttered a prayer or two before leaving their houses.
Things are different now. In the city, millennials walk fast by me on their way to schools and offices. My way is to the park to stretch my aching knees and catch some air.
It’s 5:30 a.m., the break of day, with the sun just starting to show its rays. Along the road leading to the highway, cars are running fast, with motorcycles tagging along. A few meters from the stoplight are beggars with outstretched hands asking for alms, and cigarette and newspaper vendors selling their wares.
I don’t know these people, and have no idea whether they talk to God as they leave their homes. What I am certain is, we all live on borrowed time, and a hurried life is needed to live and survive these days.
I had been to Singapore, Beijing, New York, Rome. In these places, I always started my days early to sip coffee in a restaurant nearby, ride a train to roam the city, or just stroll along streets to see unfamiliar sights.
In Singapore, I saw elderly people still working in restaurants. In a Beijing park, l watched masses of old men and women doing their morning exercises.
In subways in New York and on trains in Rome, I encountered a sea of human beings hurrying along to their schools and areas of work.
God loves His people, young and old, wherever they may be. In Psalm 65:8, we see God’s hands on everyone: “They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.”
We work from daybreak to sunset in order to survive. Putting God in our life, striving to be holy and seeking only the true treasures are what matters. In Timothy 6: 10-11, it is said, “For the love of money is the root of all evil. But for you, man of God, shun all this, pursue righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
Daybreaks and new years are all beginnings, both stressing the importance of time. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, Jesus enters human history upon His incarnation, and sees all things in His eternity: “We may fancy that God knows the flight of time in His eternity, in the way that a person standing on top of a watchtower embraces in a single glance a whole caravan of passing travelers.”
At dusk, as we rest and praise God for the day that has passed, we humbly pray Psalm 19:15. “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favor before You O Lord, my Redeemer and my Rock.”
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Mario D. Dalangin, 64, is a member of various church organizations in Las Piñas, and a grandfather to Rifqi Gabriel.
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