“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17(NIV).

 If the old were needful, important or relevant God would not have bothered about bringing something new. The truth is this old was never meant to be. It was never God’s intended purpose. It was not in the original plan. It was only permitted for a reason. The new is what God’s original intended purpose was. It remained in place till Adam gave in to the devil’s temptation opening the door for the old to operate in our lives.

 It is called the old because many, except Adam, Eve and Jesus, never knew the new or what it was like when it was in place here on earth. All of us who were born in Adam were born into the old.

 However, your continued living or existence in the old is totally up to you now that you have come to the age of accountability, a point in your existence from whence you are completely accountable to God for your life. The old is a life of sin and death while the new is the life of the Spirit of God. Truly the old is death and the new is Life. The new is the life of God such that when you receive it God will not be more righteous than you. Are you more human than your child, or is your father more human than you? Righteousness is the nature of God and right standing with Him, the ability to stand before Him and before demons and devils without any feeling of guilt or inferiority. Such a person is of the family of God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21(NIV).

 That was why Jesus came, to restore this new to mankind. But the choice to have it is ultimately mankind’s. You can have a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning in Christ. No man comes out of this old except through Christ, and it can happen now if you will. Christ has already paid the price to get that to be effected in your life. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12(NIV).


The suicide rate for teenagers is climbing. It is now the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15–24, and the second leading cause of death among college students. For every completed suicide, estimates assert that there are as many as 25 attempted suicides. As Christians, we want to be able to help those who consider or attempt suicide to choose a future and a hope instead.

Stay in Step with the Spirit

Those who know God personally are filled with the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” We may not know what the person before us is going through in his or her life, but God knows. If we are in step with the Spirit, God can lead our conversation. And when you remember that God is with you every step you take, you talk to God as you listen to others. God will tell you what to ask, what to say, and when to keep silent. Being in step with the Spirit means you are open to his leading, therefore you are not in the driver’s seat. When we are controlling things, we are calling the shots and are tempted to make each conversation about us and our experiences. Even as the other person shares, we get our next point ready, formulating our thoughts so they come out just right.


We live in a world today where we can easily get confused; the temptation to think of family in a purely secular way – as what we can create on our own human terms – is enormous. What an error!  We are not condemning anyone (we all fail and constantly need to go to Confession); but we never ignore or thrash the Word of God.  That would be dead-end!  Please, do not follow worldly conventions; our true family identity is from God and is in God (cf. Gen 12:2; Isa 62:2).  St. John reminds us, in our Second Reading (1John 3:1-2; 21-24): all we have and are flow from God’s love: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” He already hinted this point, when he stated, “But to all who received him [who received His Word]… he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor… of the will of man [Congress, Supreme Court or whatever], but of God” (John 1:12-13).   Precisely!  The family is a gift of God’s love, not of human creation: God consecrates the marriage love between one man and one woman for the establishment of the family (cf. Gen 2:18-25; Matt 19:4-6).  As St. Paul puts it, “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” (Eph 3:14-19).  Hence, Vatican II calls our Christian families, “the domestic church” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 11; cf. 1Pet 2:9); only God can found Church (cf. Matt 16:18; 1Cor 3:11; Eph 5:31-32). To this end, every family should strive for total dedication to God in humility, obedience and love.  Our First Reading (1Sam 1:20-22, 24-28 – Option 2) anticipates this quest for higher spiritual values.  Hannah was barren: she prayed about it and God blessed her with a child.  In return, with the consent of her husband, Elkanah, she offered the child to God with a ritual thanksgiving. What an example!  Similarly, our Gospel Passage (Lk 2:41-52) shows every year the parents of Jesus took Him to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.  Parents, please, always bring your little children to God and to His Church!  The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6).  As Jesus told Mary and Joseph, ‘Why were you looking for me [everywhere]?  Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’”  May our children fall in love with God; may they always be found in God’s house, in good company and not in questionable places.