From our Pastor: January 6, 2019

This Sunday, January 6, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our
Lord Jesus Christ, also titled “the manifestation of the Lord.” During this Christmas
Season (concluding with the Baptism of the Lord, January 13 this year), we recall on
the Epiphany when God’s eternal plan of Salvation was revealed to the whole world
– represented by the three Magi visiting the manger. Last Tuesday, January 1, we
remembered Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in a special way with the Solemnity of Mary
the Holy Mother of God (Mary receives this title, among many, such as Mother of
Mercy and Mother of the Eucharist, because she is the mother of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ). As we listen to God’s Word during Mass this Sunday, let us join the Magi
who came before the Lord bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew
2:1-12) – that we would be more conscious of praising, thanking, loving and adoring
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, not so much with material goods, but with our
very life, in faith, hope and love, centered in His gift of the Holy Eucharist.

When the King of Heaven was born, a very prideful and earthly king named Herod
was alarmed. Pope Saint Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) has said that earthly pride
is undoubtedly alarmed when heavenly eminence is made manifest. In fact, to this day,
we often see leaders of nations attack Christianity and Christians because they see them
as a threat to their power – such earthly leaders remain hard of heart. No such earthly
ruler guided the Magi or the shepherds – rather, God guided them with one of His
stars and angels. Nevertheless, with all the signs from God, manifested from our Lord’s
birth to His death and Resurrection, many people to this day remain hard of heart. They
refuse to recognize Him as Lord and Savior. “In truth, all the elements bore witness
that their Creator had come,” says Pope Saint Gregory the Great. “Indeed, to speak of
them in a human way, the heavens knew that He was God because they immediately
sent forth a star; the sea knew Him because it allowed Him to walk upon it; the earth
knew Him because it trembled when He died; the sun knew Him because it hid the
rays of its light; the stones and walls of houses knew Him because they were broken at
the time of His death; the lower world recognized Him because it gave up the dead it
was holding; and yet some hearts remained full of unbelief, and did not know that He
was God, although all the dumb elements perceived Him as Lord!”

As brothers and sisters in Christ, may our hearts and minds always be open to the
grace of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to live His virtues of faith, hope and
love, in imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and all the saints. May we
be His witnesses in the world, instruments of His love and mercy for all whom we
encounter and so lead them to Jesus Christ. The Epiphany begs belief from us so that
we, like the Magi, will be led home by another way, the Way of Love, from the wood
of the Crib to the wood of the Cross, the Way of Love, the Way of Our Lord Jesus
Christ, crucified and risen from the dead, the Only Savior of the world.

With peace and prayers for a blessed and joyous New Year in Christ,
Fr. William

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