“Even at the beginning of this New Year with its uncertainties and challenges, we should renew our hope and trust in God’s goodness, guidance, and faithfulness in our various vocations in life,” the Gambian Catholic Bishop says.
He continues, “Every New Year, we have new hope and plans we want to achieve in our lives as individuals, a community of faith, and a nation. We hope for a better New Year that is more peaceful, healthy, successful, and prosperous than the previous year.”
“If we experienced misfortune, sickness, and disappointment the year before, we hope for good health, success, and progress in the New Year,” Bishop Mendy who has been at the helm of the Banjul Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February 2018 further says.
He highlights some of the possible plans for the New Year saying, “Some of us plan to understand our faith more and grow in our knowledge and love of God and be more committed and active in our Church and society.”
He continues, “Many others want to advance their career, education, skills, and business, discover their vocation, or begin a new family life.”
He notes that our “hope and plans are usually set in place in the New Year but they may or may not be realized in the course of the year” because hopes and plans “are not fully within our own power and ability to accomplish without God’s blessings and assistance.”
“Our human limitations and imperfections also affect our ability and determination to realize our plans, hope, and expectations in the New Year. They often prevent us from achieving our aspirations in life even when we have very good intentions,” the 54-year-old Gambian Bishop observes.
“We still experience disappointment in fulfilling our hopes and plans because the outcome does not completely depend on us alone,” he further says, adding, “There are other factors that can prevent or enable us to achieve what we expect to accomplish in the New Year. Our personal hope and plans must, therefore, be grounded on our hope in God and our efforts to overcome our human limitations and imperfections if we intend to succeed.”
Making reference to Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, Bishop Mendy says, “It becomes evident that we have a need for a hope that goes further. It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for us, something that will always be more than we can ever attain.”
“We are not expected, therefore, to simply hope for a better life, a better future, and the fulfillment of our plans in the New Year. Our ultimate hope that is the foundation of all other hope and plans we have for ourselves should be our hope in God, our creator and source of life and strength,” the Local Ordinary of Gambia’s Banjul Diocese says.