The beginning of a new year is filled with hopes, resolutions and traditions to bless the days ahead. A year of the unexpected comes to a close. Days filled with joy, pain, loss and incivility now open each of us to a new unknown. 2017 is our personal canvas awaiting creation.

The letter from Saint John is the perfect start to these new beginnings in January. Love one another. Pass from death to life in the love of the one who laid down his life for us. Honor our own call as a disciple and spread in words and attitudes these gifts to all we meet.

We are offered tools to imbue our days with hope and prayer and spirit. In loving one another, we become alive in God’s love, and thus we are saved. May we commit ourselves to live in these resolutions for the year ahead.

—Mary Burke-Peterson  is a parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, Evanston, an active volunteer in the Ignatian Spirituality Project, and a graduate student at Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University.