Happy New Year!
Don't drink too much. It's not a sin to drink. We're not Baptists. It is a sin to get stewed to the gills. It's not necessarily a terrible sin if you're sitting in your chair wondering where Dick Clark is this year (may he rest in peace), but it would be a sin if you passed out after you realized that Dick just isn't going to host anything anymore and your cigarette (also not a sin...I can't tell you how many priests used to have two orange finger tips from holding endless filtered cigarettes) falls from your limp fingers and burns down the house. Even that isn't the worst sin, really, as much as it is a miserable way to start the New Year with no roof over your head and only your feety pajamas to call clothes. But if there was anyone in the house with you, you've put them in harm's way and that would be a grave sin. So don't drink too much no matter where you are or what you're doing. You never know when you'll be called upon to at least be alert enough to call the fire department when the guy next door passes out and burns down his house.
Like the Chinese, who have a whole different New Year's day, Mother Church already started the calendar year in our Life in Christ. We're well into our year, which began with Advent. We're already done with that and into Christmastide, which will last until the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. At the moment, we're still waiting on the Magi. It's a little confusing that we remember the feast of the Holy Innocents before we celebrate the Magi finally stopping for directions. Oh well.
But for the next day or two, we'll be sliding along with the rest of the world, except the Chinese, celebrating the beginning of 2013 and toasting and making resolutions.
New Year's resolutions have a hollow ring to me. They tend to be about "something I want to do" or "something I want to be", revolve around money and weight loss, and don't do anything at all to improve the world save making the person in the middle seat in the airplane fit between the other two people more comfortably.
Oh, sure, resolutions can only be selfish. You can't change other people or make them do things. You can only mind your own garden, as any good nun will tell you, and make yourself a better person.
I would admonish everyone, therefore, to think long and hard about what would actually make you a better person.
Define "better person". Less selfish. More compassionate. Less judgmental. More giving.
Not smarter or thinner, although if your humongous weight is keeping you from being able to help anyone, maybe thinner might be something you should consider.
I suggest you take a little time out and read the four Gospels of the New Testament. I know we read the entire Bible at Mass, but that takes three years and most of you don't go to Mass everyday. You may have missed something. A quick read of the New Testament will tell you all you need to know about how to improve yourself in a way that will be helpful to the world.
And don't worry about it being 20THIRTEEN. We don't believe in bad luck or good luck or unlucky numbers. Happy New Year! Merry Christmastide!