It started out great and then took a sudden turn. A beautiful and quiet dinner on New Years was followed by a chest cold that has put a damper on things. Now to add to the frustration, Windows has somehow made my emails disappear on one computer. Everything has to go up from here, right?
Christmas was wonderful, and the church part of it was unique, with the Saturday – Sunday back-to-back feasts of Christmas and Holy Family, then a week later New Years (Feast of Mary Mother of God) and Epiphany. In Canada, all four days were Holy Days of obligation. Hats off to the pastors who celebrated all the Masses involved! By my count we had 16 Masses at St. Paul’s on the two weekends. It was a privilege to preach on the Sundays, with Father taking the Christmas and Mary Mother of God feasts.
I go into the New Year with the theme of Epiphany running around in my head. I was struck this year by the notion that the Magi – whoever they were – went back to their own country and told about what they had seen. Why did they go in the first, place I wonder? They were probably from Persia, we are told, a journey of 1000 or more miles. They were also not of the Jewish faith. No matter: they saw a young child, and were faced with the question, what do you make of this? What do you say about it? Whatever their answer was, they apparently took that away with them. We are faced with the same question, what do you say about this? And I think we have the same challenge to tell about it in the land we inhabit. The birth of the newborn Messiah cannot be known if we do not make it known. I want to do that better in this year.
I have a prayer by Cardinal Newman that ends this way: Let me preach You without preaching, not by words, but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You.
The prayer is to live the life, not just say the words. I ask that grace for all of us.