From Fr. Paul 1-7-2018
Today we have come to celebrate the great feast day of Epiphany! This is the last Sunday of the Christmas season this year as the Baptism of the Lord falls on Monday, January 8, 2018. Epiphany means manifestation or revelation, and we celebrate that Christ was revealed to the nations through the arrival of the Magi. In this one feast day we are also reminded through our prayers that in Jesus’ early life His divinity was revealed to those who encountered Him with minds and hearts desiring to know God. At Evening Prayer today we pray, “Three mysteries mark this holy day: today the star leads the Magi to the infant Christ; today water is changed into wine for the wedding feast; today Christ wills to be baptized by John in the river Jordan to bring us salvation.”
Since we also acknowledge that Christ was revealed not just to the Magi who traveled from the East at His birth, but at His baptism when the voice of the Father spoke, “This is my beloved Son”; at the 11am Mass today we welcome families who celebrated a child’s baptism with us in 2017. We are grateful for all the children who were washed in the saving waters of baptism, made beloved sons and daughters of God and given the call to live as a disciples of Christ and became part of our parish family. We will pray for these families to be strengthened by the prayers of Mary and Joseph who are the model and guide for Christian parents. We all want your family and your home to be a place to know, love and serve God.
I would also like to take the opportunity on this Epiphany day to thank all of those who helped us as we came to worship on Christmas. I would like to thank Dr. Paula Savaglio who prepared and directed our music program. I am appreciative of all of our musicians and vocalists in our adult choir, children’s choir, bell choir, and Magnificat ensemble as well as our guest musicians. Together you gave beauty to our celebration of each Mass. I am grateful to all of those who decorated our beautiful Church, making it a fitting place for the celebration of the sacred mysteries of the Mass honoring the Birth of Christ. I am grateful for a team of hardworking staff who cleaned our church, worked all evening on Christmas Eve to clear large amounts of snow, prepared the worship programs, and completed all the behind the scenes effort to give beauty and life to our celebration. I am also thankful to all our parishioners who gave so generously of the time, talent and treasure during this Christmas season. Working together and sharing our time, talent and treasure we become more fully the parish God calls us to be.
I ask you to continue to keep one another in prayer that we all might be more committed to Christ and might become a more vibrant parish family. My prayer for all of us as we begin 2018 is that this year our hearts and minds look more like the heart and mind of Christ. When this happens, St. Mary becomes a place where others can more powerfully encounter Jesus Christ.
Happy Epiphany! Happy New Year!