Here we are, brothers and sisters in Christ, at the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord and the end of the Christmas Season! Today we celebrate the revelation of Jesus to everyone in the persons of the magi who visited Jesus as a baby in a manger and gave gifts to Joseph and Mary. What gifts will you bring to Jesus this year? Your time – spending more time in prayer, spiritual reading to strengthen your faith, reading stories of the Saints, or establishing family prayer times? Your talent – ushering at Sunday mass, singing in the choir, reading at mass, serving in our Food Pantry or sharing tree, or serving at the Social Apostolate? Your treasure – giving more to the parish offertory, increasing your giving to the school, or giving more to other Catholic apostolates and ministries? Giving a gift to someone should be a bit of sacrifice. What gift can you give Jesus in 2023?
Pope Benedict XVI, RIP
Eternal rest grant unto Pope Benedict XVI, O Lord!
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
Requiescat in pace! May he rest in peace!
Pope Benedict XVI died on December 31st at the age of 95. What a gift he was to the Church as a pastor, a priest, a theologian, and pope! He placed his gifts and talents and so many years at the service of the Lord Jesus and laid his life down for the people of God entrusted to his care. I have many fond memories of this gentle shepherd and brilliant theologian. In celebration of him, I will be reading some of his works this year (I’m a slow reader and won’t be able to get ALL of his writings!) beginning with Introduction to Christianity and ending with his encyclicals (Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope), and Caritas in veritate (Love in truth)). In Lent, I will try to read his three volume work on the life of Christ – Jesus of Nazareth. If you would like to join me in this effort please do! Your faith will grow abundantly! Feel free to begin with the last one I mentioned – that is his a result of his personal prayer and is rich in spirituality and theology.
There has been a shift in the treatment plan for my cancer and I want to inform you all about it. My surgery will now be at the end of February – the week of Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent! How’s that for entering into the penitential season? What perfect timing! God is amazing!
Thank you for your continued love, prayers, and support! Your companionship and accompaniment on this journey means more to me than I can every express! Thank you!
May the Lord Jesus grant you and your family many wonderful blessings!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin