When I was a very young priest, in my first year, I was put in charge of a multi parish program for high school students. I was too green to know the intricacies of organization. One of the pastors involved was a good friend. I had particularly wanted to impress him. I apologized to him for my short comings. He just laughed and said, “Never forget, time moves forward. Tomorrow is a whole new day.”
When I heard that statement, I understood very little. At that time, it simply meant that I should get over the bad feelings. Put it behind me, learn, and move on. In the 41 years since that incident, I have thought about those words, and that failure, not my last, by the way. Those words tend to mean more to me all the time. They mean that each day is a fresh start. It means we cannot let ourselves get bogged down with a bad day. The world begins fresh everyday. It means that it is never too late to have a good day, or a good life. A prophetic message!
I think that the celebration of New Year's reminds us all of this wonderful message. The New Year proclaims to us that time moves forward. New Year’s reminds me that I have a new gift from God. That gift is called 2004.
It is indeed never too late to have a good life. It is never too late to have our greatest year. We can accept this gift with that expectation. Time moves forward. It is never too late.
Fr. James O'Leary