Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
By now most all of the celebrations of Christmas have taken place. Even the late family gatherings and office parties, are all concluded. But this weekend, we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. In Central America and in a good number of Hispanic countries, this is the day that gifts are exchanged. A good part of the world is celebrating the birth of Jesus right now!
The Epiphany of the Lord is a feast of light. Isaiah, the prophet in the first reading, invites the people in Jerusalem to stand up because their light has come - the glory of the Lord is surrounding them. Their darkness has come to an end. Their light will be so outstanding that other nations will have their way illuminated as they journey. As the prophet continues in the reading, the scene of how the wealth of the nations, caravans of camels, bearing gold and frankincense is described. The stage is well set for the Magi in the gospel of Matthew.
The Magi arrive in Jerusalem after having followed the light of the star from a great distance. They understood that when such a star appeared, it was a sign of the birth of a new king. It disappeared in Jerusalem, so they understood this was the place where the new king was born. The image of light is very strong as we celebrate the Epiphany. The darkness of sin, the darkness of being without God, the darkness of no hope, all are ended with the coming of Jesus the light for the world.
It is interesting that the coming of Jesus is celebrated about the same time that the shortest day of the year is observed. The light beginning to shine a little more each day has begun. The light of Jesus the Christ present in the world takes away darkness more and more each day. As we celebrate the Epiphany, the manifestation in light of Jesus, God - man now in the world, may our hearts be joyful as light touches our days.
It has been a delight to celebrate the birth of Jesus, God and man present in our world these special days. I enjoyed our Christmas Eve celebration at Ashland Ridge with the children’s choir and the gospel players enacting the reading of St. Luke’s gospel. It was a delight to welcome so many visitors, parishioners, family and friends to our Christmas Mass. Christmas Day Mass was also a celebration of joy with our Adult Choir.
Thank you for all who enabled our celebrations to unfold - to those who helped set up and decorate, to our choirs for their practice and leadership in singing, to Cari Higgins who played for them, to the lectors, ministers of hospitality and Eucharist, to the servers, cross bearers and those who helped with the take down. St. Luke’s community working together enable our Masses to gather, celebrate and know that the new born Jesus is among us. May we always know the presence and joy of Jesus with us.
A word of welcome is in order to Tonya Eaton who has accepted being principal of St. Luke’s School. She has served as our School Administrative Consultant and now takes on the role of Principal. Welcome Tonya! Contact her at the parish office if you have questions about our school that will open in August of 2015. Registration will take place January 20, 8:30 am at St. Anne’s.
Bring your family this Sunday afternoon, January 4th, at 5:00 pm to St. Anne’s for our Epiphany Fair. It is a great time to celebrate some of the great traditions surrounding this feast.
May the blessings of the New Born Lord Jesus come to all of you as we enter into this New Year.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann