A Message from Father William

This Sunday, January 3, 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 10 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. This past Friday, 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 prideful and earthly king named Herod was alarmed. Earthly pride is undoubtedly alarmed when heavenly eminence is made manifest, Pope Saint Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) has said. In fact, to this day, some leaders of nations and others attack Christianity and Christians because they see them as a threat to their power – such people remain hard of heart. No such earthly rulers 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 today remain hard of heart, refusing to recognize Him as Lord and Savior. “In truth, all the elements bore witness that their Creator had come,” Pope Saint Gregory said. “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 disciples of Christ, may we always proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior. 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. In our love for God and neighbor, may we witness in word and deed to God’s love and mercy so as to lead all people to discipleship in Jesus Christ. May we realize that the Epiphany calls us, like the Magi, to 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