Thursday, December 30, 2010

Epiphany of the Lord

Some common images of Epiphany are of the three wise men, the magi, the three kings following a star in the sky and after following this star they come upon Bethlehem and kneel before a manger as they present their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the new born king. Tradition calls them Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior.

What must it have been like to have these foreigners show up at the house? What is most amazing in Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus is that it was the strangers who recognize who he was and paid him homage, not his own people like the chief priest and elders who studied the Scriptures. For all the wondrous manifestation of his birth, many people simply missed the meaning. How about us? Is Christ truly made known in our lives?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holy Family

Christ is born, Alleluia! God dwells among us so that we may be heirs to the kingdom of heaven. The glory of God has appeared and we are enlightened by his presence. God became one of us so that we could become like him. We miss the meaning of Christmas if we don’t see that our gift-giving is connected to the ultimate gift-giving of God: his Son taking on human existence so that we might have a full share in divine life. How blest we are!

As we look upon Jesus, Mary and Joseph we see their example of love. They are the Holy Family. Remember a holy family is not one in which everything is perfect all the time. A holy family is one that in the experience of their humanity discovers the divine. What is holy about your family? What will you do to celebrate that holiness? What will you do to strengthen it? Remember, our earthly home is but a preparation for our heavenly home.

Fr. Russell and I wish you and your families a blessed Christmas. Together with all our parish staff and employees, we pray in eager anticipation of God’s gifts in the new year to come.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent 4

Today’s Gospel story lets us wrestle with the demons of doubt that overwhelmed Joseph concerning Mary. Waking from his dream, Joseph, the faithful servant, did as the angel instructed and received Mary into his home as his wife.

Joseph stands in a long tradition of faith that includes Abraham, who trusted against all the evidence that God would give him an heir and a bountiful future, and Moses, who showed unwavering faith as he faced down the mighty Pharaoh and led the people in a forty year long quest to find the Promised Land.

All of this faith climaxes in Jesus, the promised Messiah.