Merry Christmas everyone!
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, in the early 2nd Century, reflected on the manifestation of the Lord which this Solemnity of the Epiphany celebrates by saying:
A star burned in the sky more brightly than all the others; its light was indescribable, its newness marvelous, and all the other stars, along with the sun and the moon, formed a chorus around this star, the light of which reached farther than that of any other …. Then every bond wrought by wickedness was broken, and the ancient kingdom was razed. When God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life, his counsel began to be fulfilled.
While nearly 19 centuries have passed since Ignatius first uttered these words, this most ancient feast day has continued to develop. At the heart of its meaning is the message that God’s always light triumphs over the darkness of sin and death. Even as the progression of days and years is measured by a period of light and darkness, it is a reminder that time is created so that the gift of salvation may unfold. Thus, the tradition of the “announcing of the calendar” on this day had a special place in the Liturgy to sanctify time to God’s purpose. And so it is for us.
In the upcoming weeks, we will begin the annual diocesan Our Catholic Appeal earlier than usual to accommodate our parish Project HOPE campaign. This year, Bishop Noonan has asked our parish to provide $278,146 of support through OCA. This is a $9,905 increase from last year’s assessment. Also, the Bishop has asked our mission to provide $12,301 of support which is a $5,970 decrease from last year’s assessment! I am hopeful that we will able to accomplish this annual appeal quickly so that we may move into the work of providing more directly to our parish expansion programs!
May this final day of Christmas, be a source of continued hope, strength, and healing both now and through the coming year.