“Kung Hei Fat Choy” by by: Barbie Lu Young

Congratulations and Wishing You Prosperity! This year, the lunar Chinese New Year falls on January 31 and ushers in the year of the green wood horse. In preparation, homes are given thorough cleaning, decorations with the themes of “happiness,” “wealth,” and “longevity” are put up, and offerings of food are left at the altar of ancestors in some traditional families.

Similarly, from the earliest times of the Old Testament, the offering of sacrifice was practiced. From Cain and Abel to Noah to Abraham and Isaac, sacrifices were offered as a gift to God. In our present day and age, instead of making sacrifices and offerings designed to serve the gods, the best way to celebrate the New Year is to attend the holy sacrifice of the mass. The Holy Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law, in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearance of bread and wine. (CCC Q&A pt. 309) In the mass, the priest and the victim are one and the same, namely, Jesus Christ. To benefit fully from it, we should attend mass with reverence, attention and devotion. (CCC Q&A pt. 315) To adore God, to thank God, to petition God, and to atone God for sins are the primary intentions as we offer the holy sacrifice.

As we welcome the New Year, we pray for a fresh start and a new beginning. We give thanks for the hope of the renewal of goodness and health into our hearts for the purpose of motivating us to find Jesus who is our Redeemer and friend. We petition for a clearer understanding of how Jesus died on the cross to sweep clean our sins and make it possible for us to have a new life that brings happiness, true wealth, longevity and prosperity to our souls.