We Christians—we Catholic Christians—believe and do the same: We begin and we end our Eucharistic liturgies with a blessing, invoking God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And when our liturgy is ended, every priest, from the Pope on down to the most recently-ordained, gives a blessing, so that the assembly may go and live what they have seen and heard and done.
But no matter the occasion, or the length or shortness of the blessing; no matter what language it is spoken and given in, or what time of year it is, the blessing, the source of the blessing, is God, always God, and only God.
And because it is given in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we can expect to receive a full share of God’s own holiness, to feel, and dwell in, God’s own power and presence, which power and which presence is Love, Love, and only Love.
So, every blessing given and received in God’s name brings with it all that dwells within love, for when Love, when God, comes into our midst, into our hearts, into our bodies, our homes, and into our marriages, it gives and brings forth all that is holy and sacred and good in God.
Because all blessing has as its source God himself, and God is love, any blessing received with an open heart will dwell there in that heart, and draw forth more love, and will do what Love loves to do: It will restore the one who is blessed to a new, bigger, more generous and kind life. It will restore the one who is blessed with new vision, a clarity, so that she or he can live, can engage the world cleanly, without deception or lies.
So, no matter where we are, no matter what we have done, and especially if we are harried, busy and anxious, or worried, we have within us, through faith and the grace of our baptism, the power to call upon ourselves and those we love, and even upon those we do not love as we should, this one, holy, generous, life-restoring blessing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one holy blessing is the very love with which Christ chose to surrender all things, even his body, to God; it is the love with which Christ obeyed the Father so that we might be led to God.
All blessings restore, raise up, heal, transform, protect, and give joy. This year, let us not make resolutions; instead, let us breathe in and breathe out the joy of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Let us stay focused on Christ. Let us help one another to be true carriers, generous, kind, brave, and humble carriers of God, whose sole joy is to Love us, and bless us, and care for us.