Where do we, as Christians, look for inspiration when developing our own personal list of New Year’s resolutions? Please join me on a virtual pilgrimage to the ancient Jewish Temple, located in the heart of Old Jerusalem, as we walk in the very foot steps of Jesus in search of the truest source of new beginnings and personal transformation. No passport necessary.
Book Excerpt. Chapter Seventeen: The Embrace of Mercy. (The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. By: Karen Sheehy)
Sitting alone in the comfort of a luxurious black limousine, the bride-to-be took a small shot of Vodka to calm her nerves while staring at the large doors of St. Jude Catholic Church in Atlanta. Awaiting her was the promised love of her life, but how could she be sure? Remembering the wisdom in asking, she simply bowed her head and pleaded to see her future husband through God’s healing eyes of mercy. At once, recognizing the peace and security found within her fiancé’s loving embrace, she immediately saw, in him, her divinely sent and promised soul mate. Fears and uncertainty at bay, she exited the Limo, opened the large church doors of mercy, and headed towards both sources of her fresh start in life, her beloved Jesus and future husband, Tom.
The Temple Mount, believed to be the site of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac (Genesis 22:2), bears great religious significance for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Known as Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmark, this UNESCO World Heritage Site includes not only the Temple Mount but also the nearby Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which contains the actual Crucifixion and Burial Sites of Jesus.
Three successive Temples have stood on the Temple Mount, including the first built by King Solomon in 957 B.C., the second by Ezra in 538 B.C., and its greatly expanded version built by King Herod in 20 B.C. It was there, within the porticos and steps of Herod’s Temple, that Jesus walked, preached, healed and instructed the early disciples and people of Jerusalem. Therefore, this Temple, mentioned many times throughout the New Testament, is an ideal place to look when developing our own list of New Year’s resolutions, for there, we find Jesus’:
- new born’s presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:22-24)
- childhood attendance at the Jewish Feast of the Passover (Luke 2:41-42)
- forgiving and saving of the adulteress (John 8:1-11)
- cleansing of the Temple (Matthew 21:12-13)
- healing of the blind and lame (Matthew 21:14 and John 5:1-9)
- teachings on the Heavenly Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14)
- proclamation about the Jewish Temple’s destruction and three day rebuilding of the new Temple, His Body, the Church (John 2:19-22).
But how, you may ask, do these historical events relate to New Year’s resolutions? Well, may I suggest that, as Christians, each of us follow Christ’s illuminated pathway towards spiritual renewal and rebirth by:
- presenting our lives to God through Baptism and the ongoing gift of self-sacrificial love to others
- attending daily and/or weekly Mass, including all Holy Days of Obligation
- receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation on a frequent basis
- examining one’s conscience daily
- striving for personal holiness, (the body is the new Temple of the Lord)
- offering merciful forgiveness to those who have wronged or offended us in any manner
- performing charitable works for our fellow brothers and sisters in need
- praying and/or meditating on Sacred Scripture daily
- adoring the Real Presence of the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration.
In closing, I wish you and your families a year filled with the blessings, love and new beginnings promised by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.
Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).
Jesus, I trust in You.
Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!