God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Get Rid Of The Baggage

An illustration by J. C. Leyendecker featured as the cover of The Saturday Evening Post welcoming in the New Year of 1908

An illustration by J. C. Leyendecker featured as the cover of The Saturday Evening Post welcoming in the New Year of 1908

As the New Year begins, in old Rome, the people followed an unusual custom. At the stroke of midnight, they would open their windows and throw out old possessions into the streets below; broken chairs, ragged clothing, and old dishes. The reasoning behind the custom is that the people wished to go into the New Year without all this unnecessary baggage. In a dramatic way, the citizens of Rome cast out of their lives old grudges, hurt feelings and distressing memories of mishaps of the past year.

At this time of the year, all believers in a joyful way of living could open their front doors and throw out from their lives the unhappy events, the bruised hearts and the shattering disappointments of 2015. No one need go into the precious days of the New Year loaded down with the baggage of the year gone by. The time of this year ahead, 2016, comes to us fresh, filled with possibilities of delightful surprises and brand new experiences.

In the hearts of everyone lies riches and talents never before brought to the light of day. With a fresh outlook on the year to come, a person of faith can fall in love with life and bring to the surface all these hidden and unused beauties within. Does anyone use the heart to its full powers to give love and affection to family members and the world?

Recently, a medical doctor stated, “If I were a writer or a public speaker, I would be out there most of the time fighting fear. If I could cut down fear and worry in the lives of people, I could get in a lot more games of golf, because it is mostly fear and worry that fill my office.”

Like a heavy backpack, fear and worry pull people to the ground and leave no time for laughter, joy and sheer delight of living. Worry, in its root meaning, equals “strangulation” or “choking”. A worrier chokes off the real beauty of life.

A follower of the Lord can face each day with a loving trust in God and determine to rise above these ghosts of doom. I say “ghosts” because most of the things we worry about never occur. Whatever happens today, Jesus of Nazareth will help me deal with it. At the end of the week, we start our New Year. Don’t you think it’s time to get rid of your baggage, and hold on to the hope offered through the Christ Child?

Fr. George Mc Kenna

December 28, 2015 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , ,


  1. I love this bulletin – it is filled with so much hope. Why do we let our history control our present state of mind? Your analogy of the back pack is so on point. Thank you Fr. McKenna for another beautiful spiritual tidbit to guide us on our daily journey. GT

    Comment by GT | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  2. There is so much richness in each of Fr. George’s weekly blogs.. He is really missed at the Midway Chapel each weekend.

    Comment by Anonymous | December 28, 2015 | Reply

  3. Beautiful father and so well stated, a great way to start the new year, hope you are well, enjoy your words of wisdom throughout the year! with love Deb Hurley

    Comment by Anonymous | December 30, 2015 | Reply

  4. SO POWERFUL! This was amazing, Fr. George! One of you best, to be sure! I remember a dear friend of mine, who always noticed someone we both knew, as being ‘so fearful, so afraid’. And it was true. That person was so afraid of everything and still is! As a result, that person doesn’t really live, just exists.

    I have tried to remove worry and the ‘baggage’ of things as I’ve gotten older. And I love what that doctor you wrote about said, and I feel that is so true as well …. most of our ‘ailments’ are just a result of us not living life, but sitting and worrying and wasting time on TV’s/computers/cell phones…. but miserable when not distracted by the electronics! Tim and I went snowshoeing in the mountains this past Sunday – what a wonderfully exhilarating experience – the gorgeous blue sky, the tall pine trees, and that glorious white snow. How can you not feel good being outside in that!

    Thank you for this wonderful message, my dear friend! You are such a gift to us who follow you and a special gift to me – my spiritual director! Thank you for another year of our friendship and your guidance and spiritual advice! Do you realize that we have now known each other for 7 years? How blessed I am to have heeded the announcement in Midway Airport and gone up to hear you say Mass in 2008 and then developed our friendship. I feel that the Holy Spirit had a hand in that timing! I love you my dear friend! Happy New Year! God knows we need you in our lives – how blessed we are!


    Comment by Nancy Kolember Westvang | January 7, 2016 | Reply

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