My dear sons and daughters,
Peace and all-Goodness.
At the beginning of a new year, we surely benefit from recalling the words of Saint Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible and suddenly you will do the impossible.” To begin anew is a struggle that requires our own effort, but above all divine grace. Let us consider the parable of the sower, with the desire to be 'good soil' (Matthew 13:8) for receiving God’s gift, the seed that yields abundant fruit. The Lord Jesus Christ offers us this gift in the Eucharist.
In the synagogue at Capernaum, our Jesus said: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). A good way to begin this year can be to renew, with greater depth and gratitude, our faith in God’s love for us (cf. 1 John 4:16), made sacramentally visible in the Eucharist. Thus our struggle to be the 'good soil' that receives the seed will be made effective, both personally and within our shared Franciscan charism.
In closing, let us be mindful to turn our eyes to Christ who, despite our own little worth, wants to fill us with renewed effectiveness, peace and perfect joy.
With my most affectionate blessing, Your Father,
+Seraphim Mary, OSF