With Christ, All Things Can Indeed Be Made New
As I sit to write this column, a few months ahead of publication, cues of the winter season ahead are all around us. Leaves are falling, the night air is crisp, and daylight is growing increasingly short. As you read this, it is the dead of winter. Spring seems very far off. Kudos to those who make the most of winter in New Hampshire and revel in the snow!
It’s striking that we celebrate both the New Year and Lent in winter. When we make New Year’s resolutions, we are pledging to refresh, renew or recommit in some part of our lives. We are sometimes fooling ourselves with that gym membership or cutting back on sweets, but the spirit of a resolution is an important one. We are acknowledging something that we can do better. Similarly, Ash Wednesday, which happens on Feb. 22 this year, marks the start of the darkest and most difficult time in Christ’s journey. It’s no small coincidence we emerge from Lent and winter at the same time — with the birth and light of spring.
Last year was challenging for health care and Catholic Medical Center was no exception. In fact, 2022 was a challenging year for many industries with a crush of workforce struggles, inflation and economic threats, and readjustment to life after the pandemic. I’m sure I’m not the only leader of an organization reflecting on the areas of life and work who have asked for God’s grace! However, in doing so, I am reminded of hearing the phrase, “In Christ, all things are made new,” and the passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5: 17).
As 2022 passes away, 2023 has come with the promise that in faith, all things can be made new and better. This an incredibly powerful — and empowering — thought to me as a leader, a husband, a father and a community member. The change of the calendar year doesn’t magically erase whatever we were dealing with last year. However, if we entrust 2023 to Christ, he will indeed make all things new.
Let’s not forget that Christ is always with us, no matter the year or season. My colleagues at CMC are proof of that, using their God-given talents to provide health, healing and hope every day. Even amid the challenges of 2022, there were many moments to celebrate — the birth of many children, treatment of the sick, celebrating 130 years of a Catholic hospital in Manchester and compassion on full display at all times. As an organization, we were honored and humbled to be recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the best employers in the country (and the only hospital in New Hampshire to make the list) and by Healthgrades as a top 50 cardiac surgery program in the country.
With Christ, all things can indeed be made new, no matter how impossible it might seem! Therefore, my wish for you in this New Year is that no matter the challenges you face, may this winter feel short and may the New Year be filled with the true hope and faith that only comes from Jesus Christ!
Alex Walker is president and CEO of CMC Healthcare System: Catholic Medical Center, New England Heart & Vascular Institute, and several subsidiaries. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Manchester.