The New Year is supposed to be a time of looking forward and back, as well as a time of parties and company. Gabriel sat for a time in the small local church, just to be content with the present, pondering neither the past nor the future.
He had a surfeit of family and friends.
There was a picture of Mary in the corner. He gazed at it as he had often done before.
When depressed, he had found a peculiar and unexplained comfort in turning to her.
Now he remembered that today’s psalm he had often heared before, but the words had passed him by.
O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help.
Let the nations be glad and exult
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
you guide the nations on earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
till the ends of the earth revere him.