Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord

01-02-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. What exactly is an epiphany? One definition is simply a profound realization of something important; a breakthrough; a deep and profound understanding of something once mysterious. The Church uses the term “Epiphany” to describe God as being made manifest in Jesus Christ – Emmanuel – God with us.

On Christmas, we focused on Jesus’ humanity. On Epiphany, we turn our attention to Christ’s divinity. The magi help us to understand what His divinity means through their presence and their gifts. The gift of gold honored Jesus as King. The gift of incense honored Jesus as God. And, the gift of myrrh pointed to Christ’s death. Our Lord was born to sacrifice His life for us. Upon the Cross, Our Lord gave His life for the forgiveness of our sins. Our Lord’s resurrection destroyed the power of sin and extended the offer of eternal life to those who love Him.

Today, we offer our gifts, just like the wise men who offered this Divine Child homage and adoration as only a true King deserves.

Next week, we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a dramatic leap forward in Jesus’ life when we celebrate the initiation of Jesus’ public ministry. We also celebrate the fact that Jesus walked among us, teaching us by His words and example - as God and as man. God’s presence among us teaches us the value of each and every person and that each person is a gift from God. Our Lord’s presence among us also reminds us that we are on this journey together.

As part of the journey, we are called by Our Lord to imitate Him - to care for those we encounter… a teenager reaching out for genuine attention, an elderly person needing company, a poor family needing food, children in poorer countries in need of medicine. Together, we can glorify God in ways that are pleasing to Him. May today be for us a reminder of the many and varied ways that Our Lord places people ‘on the way’ to help us reach our goal - heaven. Caring for others is a vital step along the path He has laid out for us.

As you walk along the path of faith this week, consider how God has manifested Himself to you personally. What is your response to this human and divine outpouring of love? Are you an obligatory Catholic or are you a cheerful steward giving back what He has already given you? We are blessed at St. Bernadette to have a variety of ways to learn and serve as stewards of God’s many gifts.

Please be sure to take a look at our website to see our wonderful apostolates. Please pray about where Our Lord is leading you this year. The new year brings new opportunities for you. May Our Lord be your strength and your hope as you seek to do His will.