Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Gratitude is always difficult to express completely in the written word; however, I will try. While we are still in the midst of this joyful Christmas season, I want to say from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am for all those who helped make our experience of Christmas so meaningful. Of course, you’ve noticed the work of our “elves” (that’s how they’ve asked me to refer to them), who worked so hard setting up trees, hanging wreaths, gathering greenery and more, in order to create a beautiful and festive atmosphere in our churches and chapel.
Also, our staff worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure all was perfectly in place. We have an army of volunteers, whose weapons are boundless generosity and kindness! They not only clean and prepare for Christmas, but also for every week. Often, we don’t think of the work that has to be done washing and pressing linens, cleaning pews, changing holy water fonts, and so much more.
Another layer of beauty in audible form is added through the wonderful and tireless work of the leaders and volunteers from our choirs. They prepare for hours so that we can have a few minutes of enjoyment. Ultimately, of course, they sing to praise God first.
And how wonderful it is to have so many lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, Mass coordinators, and the best altar servers a priest could possibly ask for. To all those who work both visibly and invisibly to make our Masses so special and holy, I want to say Thank you! We are all enriched by the sacrifices you make of your time and talents!
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. In the United States, we move the celebration from the 6th of January to the closest Sunday, this year the 5th. In many historically Catholic countries in Europe, such as Italy and Spain, this is often known as “Little Christmas.” Many of those in Catholic cultures exchange gifts today in imitation of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh brought by the Magi to the Child Jesus. (Kids, let your parents know!)
The main point of the celebration is found in the word epiphany, coming from the Greek for “manifestation.” “By becoming man in Mary’s womb, the Son of God did not only come for the People of Israel, … but also for the whole of humanity, represented by the Magi. … We must rid our minds and hearts of the idea of rivalry, of the idea that making room for God is a constraint on us. We must open ourselves to the certainty that God is almighty love that takes nothing away, that does not threaten; on the contrary He is the Only One who can give us the possibility of living to the full, of experiencing true joy.” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, homily, 2011).
Friends, today and always let us allow ourselves to be guided by this Light from Light, Christ Jesus, the true Light for our path to find enduring happiness and true joy.
Father WilsonBACK TO LIST