Dear Saint Mary’s & The Missions parishioners,
Father Kuzma asked me to provide a message in each bulletin during his sabbatical in Florida. I admitted to him that I like his inspiring comments and pray that the Lord and Our Lady will also inspire me to write something meaningful.
This weekend the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. I remember as a child in the Province of Quebec that the Solemnity of Christmas was a special time for the immediate family and that the Feast of Epiphany was for the extended family when many relatives gathered in a nearby hall. Unfortunately, years later this wonderful tradition is no longer practiced in my family. All that remains are a few small dinners among close relatives around Christmas and very few are those who attend Mass then or throughout the year.
When I was ordained to the priesthood on May 2nd, 1992 Christmas was much more celebrated than all the other liturgical Feasts in the Christmas season and since then religious practice has decreased immensely. On the other hand, I have met more and more believers, young and old, who are feeling an urgent call from God to stand fast and fight back religious indifference and hostility against the Church. Some of the now fervent Catholics I have met were people who lived faithless or mediocre Christian lives who after a personal encounter with Jesus Christ are now on fire for the Gospel.
The Feast of the Epiphany should fill our minds and hearts with wonder and hope. God mysteriously inspired these wise men, kings or Magi to interpret a unique astronomical event in a way that opened their hearts to travel far away to meet an infant whom they believed was the greatest of all Kings (offered gold), had a divine origin (worship/frankincense) and would die as a martyr (myrrh). Could it be that this year God will surprise some of our friends and relatives with a spiritual awakening like He once did with the Magi? Could it be that this year God will use you to plant the seed of faith in an unbelieving heart and cause a major conversion? Could it be that this year you will fall in deeper love with God?
May Our Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph help us to be faithful to the Lord and believe that there is always hope for people of good will and for sinners who are looking for the mercy of God. Happy Epiphany! May God bless you always.
Fr. Luc (Retired Priest)