There are many things we as individuals can disagree about. However, 2020 being classed as an absolutely dreadful year is definitely not one of those things. As Australians, the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is several thousand kilometers away. That being said, many of us have still experienced tragedy this year in the form of COVID-19 restricts and financial hardship.
With all these terrible goings-on, giving thanks for 2020 seems akin to giving thanks for a stone-chip in your windscreen. Pope Francis, in his end-of-year homily agrees, saying, "It may seem forced, almost jarring, to thank God at the end of a year like this, marked by the pandemic."
The Pope continues by reminding us that within what has been a constant accumulation of tragedy, there is a multitude of selfless good being done. Many millions of our fellow humans have given wholly of themselves in the service of others during these challenging times. These acts of unconditional kindness, "cannot happen without grace, without God's mercy. For this we give praise to him, because we believe and know that all the good that is done day by day on earth comes, in the end from him."
By giving thanks to God for 2020 the Pope is asking us to shift out attention from the uncertainty and chaos of our World to the acts of mercy and kindness that give us hope that 2021 will be a better year.
Pope Francis touches on this hope by saying "And looking to the future that awaits us, we again implore: 'May your mercy always be with us, in you we have hoped."