While more personal notes are forthcoming, I want here to express my gratitude to all of you who made this such a lovely Christmas for me and my family. You all love us well, and we are very grateful! (My children are particularly grateful to the anonymous giver of two Harry & David Cinnamon Swirls...)
Of course Christmas is not yet over, and I hope your celebrations continue. And speaking of celebrations, I hope you will join us for the great feast of the Epiphany this Sunday, not only for Mass in the morning, but for also Evensong and Benediction at 4.30PM, which will be followed by a reception featuring King Cake - y'all come! [Update Saturday morning, 5 January: Evensong is cancelled due to illness. The King Cake reception will now take place immediately after 11.00AM Sunday Mass.]
The Epiphany is rich and symbolism and mystery: there are the "wise men from the east," the star that guided them, Herod's rage. There are Epiphany traditions: the blessing of chalk and marking of doorways (see [here]) and King cakes. But at its heart Epiphany is the story of a God who is not silent but reveals himself to those who earnestly and diligently seek him. Let us take the magi, these mysterious strangers, as our model, and never turn back from the path on which God is leading us, till at last we see the Lord face to face, and like the wise men, fall down and worship.
Pope Benedict put it this way:
"Let us return to the Wise Men from the East. These were also, and above all, men of courage, the courage and humility born of faith. Courage was needed to grasp the meaning of the star as a sign to set out, to go forth – towards the unknown, the uncertain, on paths filled with hidden dangers. We can imagine that their decision was met with derision: the scorn of those realists who could only mock the reveries of such men. Anyone who took off on the basis of such uncertain promises, risking everything, could only appear ridiculous. But for these men, inwardly seized by God, the way which he pointed out was more important than what other people thought. For them, seeking the truth meant more than the taunts of the world, so apparently clever."
God bless you,