I had Mass in Kilmovee this morning – a Mass of Farewell for 2016. At this Mass I wanted to thank those who attend Daily Masses in the parish throughout the year and to pray God’s blessing for the Year ahead. Just before leaving the sacristy I spotted an unlit candle and decided to light it. I carried it to the Altar and placed it there.
At the beginning of Mass, I welcomed people and thanked them for their loyalty to Mass during the year. I mentioned the candle on the Altar and suggested it might represent our memories of 2016 and hopes for 2017.
I was reminded of flying restrictions in relation to luggage and how we are at times forced to unpack and leave behind those items, not essential to our journey, that put us over the baggage weight limit. When packing we felt these items could not be done without but, when faced with a hefty penalty for overweight baggage, we realise they’re not that necessary after all. It’s a sobering, even if frustrating, exercise that brings to the fore what is essential for travel.
It mightn’t be a bad way to face the New Year. What have we packed? What are we carrying? What is excess baggage in our lives? Certainly the best place to discover this is not at the airport with minutes to go to boarding and people watching as we battle to rearrange and discard so the boarding might take place. The sorting needs to be done before we leave the house.
What can you travel into 2017 without? What would be best left down now and carried no further? What is essential for the journey? We spent a while looking at the single candle on the centre of the Altar. I’m not sure what went through people’s minds but I had a sense of it not being a wasted exercise or moment in prayer.
There are a few hours left this New Year’s Eve. Think about it.