My friend Toni’s spiritual practice is to allow a word to surface prior to each new year. She prays for guidance for a word she hopes to “grow into,” a word that will bring her closer in her relationship with God, family and the wider world. She listens attentively to divine inspiration and allows the word to “choose her.”

In today’s first reading we hear “Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you.” As we begin this new year, what have we heard? What is the word within that is beckoning … teasing … challenging us? The Word Who is Life, Light and Love invites us to incarnate life, light and love well beyond this Christmas season. Are we up to the task of listening and attuning ourselves to the Word in 2017?

As God’s dear children, confident and trusting, may we remain united in this Word Who is Life!

—Susan Kusz, SND serves as Associate Director at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, WI.