Happy New Year 2020! I truly hope that this New Year can be one of grace and blessing for each one of you and for your families.
Although the retailers don’t realize it, it is still Christmas! Christmas officially concludes on Sunday, January 12, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Not long ago, Christmastide lasted for 40 days, ending on the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of Mary (February 2nd). This feast, also known as Candlemas Day because candles were blessed on that day, which proclaims Jesus as “a light for revelation to the nations.”
This Christmas season centers around family life. It begins with our focus on the Holy Family, but also centers on our own families—the people that God put into our lives for our earthly pilgrimage. Only in heaven will we know why and how God put us together in our particular family. The whole point is to help each other grow closer to God in love, seeing our family as a classroom where we are schooled in love each day—despite the understandable human challenges.
Our faith teaches us that water is thicker than blood. In other words, by virtue of our baptism into Christ, we are baptized not only into Him but into the family of all believers. East Africa reminded me that I truly belong to a very large family as a Roman Catholic. Holy Redeemer Parish is primarily a family of faith even though we are so many that we often do not know each other well.
To that end, Fr. Michael and I want to host you in our home, the parish rectory, on Sunday, January 12, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We will serve chili (beef and vegan) and a lovely Mexican dish called “posole,” from 2:00-5:00pm. in the rectory dining room (downstairs). Child care is provided by some of our 8th grade students. Stop by, even if only briefly, for some comradery and fun. And if you think of it, wear something “Christmassy.” It will be your last chance to sport your favorite Christmas outfit for another year. The louder the better!
Yours in Christ,