The Year of the Lord, 2021
Happy New Year! We made it. By the grace of God, we completed a year like none we have ever known, and it is sure to go down in history as one that was unpredictable and at times very trying. We said farewell to many whose lives were cut short due to a world-wide pandemic. We changed the way we work, go to school, attend Mass, gather, and share time with one another. We were called upon to comply to the use of face masks for the good of all, and we came to understand and practice social distancing. Let us pray this New Year brings hope and promise to conquer the virus that so changed our world. This first Sunday of the New Year, our Church celebrates Epiphany, the visit of the Magi or Three Kings to a stable in the town of Bethlehem to honor a child in a manger. It is incredible, is it not, that a small, vulnerable, and helpless child is the one who would change the world like no one ever has. In an extraordinary and saving act, LOVE came down from heaven and God became man. As the word spread to the surrounding area, kings and rulers of countries came or sent their representative to do homage to this small child, bringing gifts fit for royalty to the long-awaited Savior. We commemorate this event as we celebrate the Solemnity of Epiphany. This event unites people of all nations as the Three Kings represent nations coming together to receive the child, Jesus. God Incarnate, born for people of every nation. We are blessed by our faith and our membership in the Catholic Church to know so much more about this innocent child than those who witnessed his birth. We know how Jesus would teach us to love and care for one another, especially the poor among us and how he participated in God’s plan to save all people. He would grow to maturity and set an example for us that we might attain the reward of eternal life. He would teach us, love us, challenge our thinking, he would forgive us when we fell into sin and he would eventually give his life on the Cross, to expiate our sin that we might enjoy eternity with God.
What gift can we give to the Lord? What gift would you bring if you could stand before Jesus today? What would you like to say to him? Take time as we begin a New Year and make a commitment to be in regular conversation with Jesus. Let us pray our days together, let us enjoy the company of God with us. And let us all place ourselves in his loving embrace as we begin a New Year.
In the promise of Christ,