I’m watching the Hallmark movie “Three Wise Men and a Baby,” (very appropriate as Epiphany approaches). This movie is refreshingly different from other Hallmark movies, which are often mocked for having the same plots and details: a move from the city to a small town, saving a building or employment, following a dream, resentment changing to love, and ending with a kiss.
The unique movie is about three very different brothers who don’t get along: a shy and homophobic one; a creative, zany one who can’t keep a job; and an organized fireman. When a baby is dropped off at the fire station, the brothers must care for it the days before Christmas. The baby (who steals the show) brings the brothers together and they are reconciled—to their mother’s delight. The plot is charming, creative, and funny—as when the responsible brother accidentally takes the wrong baby home and when the three men reprise a Christmas ballet they did as children. (This movie is very different from the 1987 “Three Men and a Baby.”)
Now in 2024 you have the chance to make your life refreshingly different. You can change your morning routine by rising at a different time and eating a different breakfast. You can rearrange the furniture in your home and put up new pictures, go to a different restaurant or prepare a new meal yourself. Why not learn a new language—Chinese? Or take up an instrument—drums? This reminds me of the Christmas story of how Mary had just gotten Baby Jesus to sleep when she hears a boy playing a drum!
You might begin the new year by making that dentist or doctor appointment you’ve been putting off, cleaning that cluttered closet, or calling that family member or friend you’ve been out of touch with for a long time.
This morning an article in the New York Times advises renewing your energy during the day by taking a five-minute break once in a while in which you do nothing but breathe. I suppose you can also begin running or at least trying to walk 10,000 steps, or exercising to build up your energy.
My new spiritual practice to renew my soul will be to use a little book I received as a gift. For each day of the year it offers a Scripture verse and a page of blank lines. I intend to record at the end of the day pleasant things that happened. This will make me more mindful of God’s love for me and keep me positive. We’ll see how long I can keep this up!
Just as the brothers in the movie become friends, let’s pray that the Arabs and Jews, who come from the same stock, reconcile this year. Again it’s a baby, the Prince of Peace, who can bring this about. In view of the war in the Mideast and the war in Ukraine, and the conflict between US political parties, we certainly need a new year. This may be the year you reconcile with an estranged relative or friend and bring some peace into your life.
This year a new version of this website, Catholic Faith Corner, is about to be launched. Stay tuned!
• What new thing will you undertake to become a new you?
• What do you like/dislike about Hallmark movies?
Here is a version of “Let There Be Peace on Earth” that I like especially because of the quotations overlaid on the pictures. It is sung by Vince Gill and his daughter Jenny.