The last day of 2019 I received a thank you from our sister parish for our collection of $7,680 and the news that 10 of the martyrs of the diocese have been approved for beatification. What wonderful news! The bishop of the diocese promised to inform me of the date of the beatification as soon as he hears from the Vatican. We rejoice with our sister parish and its diocese, praying to these martyrs that religious persecution of every kind may be erased from the earth.
As I shared in our recent newsletter, we will have an annual collection to support the Society of the Divine Savior. This year it will be this coming weekend. I will be speaking at the Masses and there is information in the bulletin and on our parish web page. Please be as generous as you can.
This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Two big epiphanies or “ah ha” moments happen in our Gospel reading: Jesus is identified by God the Father as His Son and we are introduced to the concept of the Holy Trinity for the first time when the Father calls Jesus His Son as the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus. After His baptism, Jesus begins His public ministry, described in our reading from the prophet Isaiah, as being a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind…and to bring out…those who live in darkness.
My friends, the same thing essentially happened to us at our baptism: we became children of God and we received the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us in the same ministry as was given to Jesus: to be a light to the world by assuming the values that Jesus preached and patterning our lives after His.
Christmastime ends with our liturgy this weekend and we begin “ordinary” time. This year we will read the Gospel of Matthew to help us know how to live as followers of Jesus. As we listen to His words and observe His actions, the Holy Spirit will help us understand how we are to speak and act in the given situations of our lives, IF WE ARE LISTENING. We need, at times, to be quiet, listen, and reflect.
I urge each of us to carefully plan when and how we will have a little quiet time with the Lord each day. Those few minutes need to be a priority if we want to grow in our relationship with the Lord and be attentive to His Spirit. Let us support each other in prayer as we do this.