Resuming this column after a short Christmas week, and early bulletin deadlines, is fun. Christmas was so well celebrated here—more on that next week—but the quality and the participation were outstanding. The Feast of the Holy Family last week provided a quiet, loving meditation on the family for us to imitate, whatever our relationships.
This weekend is very powerful—the Epiphany. It goes by several names internationally; the one we know it by means The Showing, of The Revelation. What’s acted out is the Revelation of Jesus as the Messiah in the hearts and minds of the Wise Men. They came to the crib as learned scientists of their time and left filled with faith to evangelize him throughout the known world. They personify our call to do the same.
Next week we conclude the Christmas Season with the equally powerful feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus is proclaimed as the beloved, and we are to listen to him. A good call to take from the Christmas season into “Ordinary Time.”
It’s a relief to see vaccines beginning to circulate, although it will be a while before most of us can receive them. Meanwhile nothing has changed in our situation to be safe and
prudent in church People in our area are still sickening and dying, and it’s my responsibility, with you, to enforce the Archbishop’s directions on church practice “without exception”, as I’m told, to see that our church environment is as safe as possible. Lately there have been disturbing” testers”, not recognized as from our parish, coming into church without a mask on, seeing if they would be told to leave (they were). There also are no “doctor’s letters” excusing one from wearing a mask in a private place like a church. This is no time to slacken our practices, as nearby counties are still cresting in cases, and for most of us it will be about 5 months to receive the protection of the vaccine.
Next week I’ll write more about our holiday liturgies, and look at the parish events resuming or starting up.