Dear Prince of Peace Parishioners:
… … HAPPY EPIPHANY … …
… … ALLELUIA … … NEW YEAR 2021 … …
- Just as Christmas (the “Nativity/Birth of Jesus” was the revelation of God to people of Faith Tradition (Mary, Joseph, “Elizabeth-Mary’s relative” … etc …) and to the simple-minded and open-hearted for God’s, the shepherds came to know and see the “the Messiah – Anointed One of God – Jesus Christ” when they hurried to Bethlehem and saw what was told to them by the Angels.
The Church celebrates the “Feast of Epiphany – to show forth” the presence of God to ALL who are willing and open to seek and discern God in their lives. This is traditionally represented through the “Journey of the Magi” that came from afar to search and encounter the presence of God in this “new born King” who was made known in the Scripture.
As we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany and look at the manger scene, we see three wise men arriving. We see three kings who were willing to sacrifice of themselves in order to find a newborn King. They were willing to sacrifice so greatly, because they believed in the greatness of the One they were searching for. Each of the wise men was willing to give up his riches in order to find an even greater treasure. May we imitate them in our own search for God whom we acknowledge and recognize in this Christmas Season.
A long-standing tradition in our Church is to announce the important the Church’s Liturgical celebrations in the new year on the Feast of Epiphany; today, the new yearly calendar takes over this announcement. For 2021, please note that Ash Wednesday will be on February 17, Easter will be on April 4 and Pentecost will be on May 23.
- A little reflection on Scripture of this Feast of Epiphany: Matthew's Gospel story of the magi (2:1-12), reveals to us the inevitable struggle that God's manifestation in Christ implies for the world. Jesus was a threat to Herod and the religious leaders of the time.
At home in their distant, foreign lands, the magi had all the comfort of princely living, but something was missing - they were restless and unsatisfied. They were willing to risk everything to find the reality their vision promised. Unlike the shepherds, the magi had to travel a long road; they had to face adversity to reach their goal. The magi were not just holy visionaries; they were willing to wager their money, their time and their energy, and perhaps even their lives to seek out someone who would bring true peace.
From Matthew's Gospel, we do not know what happened to the magi when they returned to their native lands, but we can be sure that they were changed men. They discovered in Jerusalem and in Bethlehem that there is no longer a God of this or that country but a God and Savior who has become flesh and blood for of all humanity.
- Please keep your teenager son/daughter or grandson/granddaughter (in Junior High and High School age) as they will continue to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation to growing deeper in their faith with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in which you have begun in them when you first brought them to be baptized in the Church a few years ago.
This is the process of completing their “initiation into the Catholic Church” through the three main “Initiation Sacraments – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist”; just like an adult who later was initiated into the Catholic Church. Please see the bulletin for more information as this Confirmation classes begin in January.
- A big word of “THANK” to Ron Belisle and Fr. Pat McDermott, our Hispanic Community will have two Spanish Masses each Sunday at this Coronavirus time to help accommodate the Mass attendance while still in a limited mode in our small worship space at 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Thank you Fr. Belisle and Fr. McDermott for your commitment and generous time in your ministry to our Hispanic Community at this difficult time.
- Wishing you and all your families a very Blessed and Happy New Year and Epiphany; May the Lord continues to bless you, your families and our world in this New Year 2021.
Fr. Phuong Hoang