Let us furrow new path on this New Year
Fr Varghese Paul, SJ
Ireland, an island nation west of Great Britain, expe
rienced a periodic famine in the first decades
of the nineteenth century. The
people experienced terrible hunge
r especially doing the period of
the potato-famine (1845-50). Calamity struck Ire
land when their stable food the potato crops
failed. As a result thousands of
Irish people were forced to
migrate to North America.
Drama writer Gerald Healey wrote
a play entitled the ‘The Black Stranger’ based on the terrible
Irish famine. In the play one of the main ch
aracters is young Michael. One day when Michael
went out, he saw people building
a road that led to nowhere.
The government was building the ro
ad in order to provide work for the people affected by the
famine. But Michael saw and all the people knew
that there was no use building such a road,
which led to nowhere. They were working for a road, which would not be useful to anyone.
When Michael returned home, he told his fath
er, “Daddy, people are build
ing a road that leads
nowhere. The road will be of no use to people!”
We don’t build roads that reach nowhere and of no
use to people. We build roads with a specific
purpose and see that it will
be useful to many people.
But how about the road of our life? Do we have
a specific direction and
goal? Does the chosen
road of my life serve others and me? Does the
road of my life have a
specific direction and
precise goals? When we put behind us the year
2004 and enter into 2005 th
ese are some of the
questions we can ask ourselves.
Most people walk on the trodden path. Let us ex
amine our paths in the beginning of this New
Year. How was my past year? What did I achieve
last year? Did the pa
th I look, help me and
other people to have a happy a
nd contented life? Were my pat
h, my goals and my achievements
useful for me and for others? Perhaps I need to
tread a new path in this New Year. How is my
preparation to furrow a new path for my life?
And I open to think new
ways and new beginning?
If we can compare the past year to a fallen leaf
, then the New Year is like a bud. The fallen leaf
cannot be replanted onto the tree.
It can only lie on the ground a
nd get disintegrated to become
part of the earth. The old leaf is of no use to
the new bud. There is need of sunlight for the new
bud for its growth. The new bud opens and grows in
the sunlight with proper care and manure.
The bud in due time will grow
into a graceful leaf.
This is also the case with human life, the past
year has gone forever. We will not get it back and
now like a bud we have to live in the New Year.
To reach our goal during this New Year let us
get God’s grace like the sunlight and also the coop
eration of our dear and near ones. Let us make
our own way this New Year by working hard with
discipline to reach the goals we have set for
ourselves. Let us break new ground. Let us always
take a noble path to
reach our high goals.
During this New Year let us now keep in mind that
our personalities and our
culture are reflected
in our words and deeds. I like cleanliness and woul
d like to keep my house
tidy and neat. But if I
throw the garbage gathered from
my house in front of my ne
ighbour’s house or on the public
road it will show my lack of
culture and good breeding. Then I believe in discipline and I expect
discipline from all the people in my house, but if
I drive my vehicle on the public road without
observing the traffic rules, then
I am proclaiming myself, as
an uncultured and uncouth person.
If we evaluate our lives on th
e basis of all these things, th
en the New Year gives us an
opportunity to make a new beginning. With proper
values and ideals in our lives, we can build
the ‘mandir’ of our lives on the foundation of
faith with the stone and cement of love and
humility. Let us decorated such
a mandir-like life with
selfless service, noble thoughts and
generosity. If we keep our lives in this New Year
clean and noble, the floods and the storms of
life will not harm the ‘mandi
r’ of our lives which are rooted on strong foundation.
In this New Year even if unexpected tragedy
strikes or we are show
ered with unforeseen
blessings of God, let us keep our equanimity in
all circumstances. We will keep our peace of
mind both in the events of a tragedy or of special
blessings. Let us neither be dispirited nor be
puffed up in varying situations. In this wa
y our lives will be energetic and peaceful.
Finally as we enter the New Year and ma
ke our path ahead through opportunities and
difficulties, let us thank God profusely for all Hi
s graces which we have received. Let us decide
to work with faith and discipline in collabora
tion with the people whom we love. Let us ask
God’s blessing on all the people especially on thos
e whom we do not love, as we should. Let us
contribute our share and pray for a just social or
der and thus let us make this New Year a happy
and prosperous year for one and all. In his wa
y we will furrow new path during this New Year.
Let us furrow new path on this New Year