Every time I hear these words I think of the show The West Wing, where President Bartlet’s signature phrase is “what’s next?”. This phrase brings continuity to the story line as the characters continually dedicate their lives to serving the nation. As I think about it now, we can use this simple little phrase to help ground us as we move beyond the Christmas season. The year 2017 is just a few days away and many of us are thinking about what our new year’s resolutions are going to be: from dieting, to posting a photo on Instagram every day, to reconnecting with old friends. While these are great ideas for the coming year, instead of just focusing on ourselves, let us also try to ask “what’s next” for our faith and our relationship with Christ. We can do this in a few simple steps:
- Stop and Evaluate – Christmas is drawing to a close and we are already a month into the new liturgical year. Find a quiet place sometime this week and take a moment to reflect on the status of your relationship with Christ. Have you made any changes to your spiritual life? Are your actions, decisions, and livelihood benefiting your relationship with Christ?
- Make a Plan – Think about starting spiritual direction or even a prayer group or bible study with your peers. Alternatively, focus on your prayer life with daily prayer, weekly adoration, or daily Mass. Read books that can help you learn about your faith and develop your relationship with Christ. Look for role models to aspire to — like the Holy Family, whose feast day we celebrated just this week.
- Take Action – This is the hard part, but the most important. Commit to your plan and carry it out throughout the liturgical year and 2017. Find someone to hold you accountable or set daily reminders in your phone