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January 2/3 From the Pastor's Desk...

My Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. This feast, along with next week’s feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, will bring to an end the Christmas Season, and we will once again begin Ordinary Time. Today’s feast celebrates the arrival of the Magi or Wise Men from the East who came to find Christ and offer Him their gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. We are reminded that Christmas is a time of gift giving. As Christians celebrating Christ’s birth, we give each other gifts. Some people exchange presents on the Feast of St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus as he has become known. Some of us use Christmas Day itself, December 25th. Still others give gifts on this feast of the Epiphany, the day the magi brought their gifts to the infant Jesus.

It is important for us to remember that gifts, as in today’s Gospel, often carry meanings that are deeper than we may at first realize. They can break hearts as well as make them. A famous short story, “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry, tells of a young couple who have recently married and are deeply in love. They are also very poor. As Christmas approaches, the only way they can afford to get each other a present is by selling something of value they already own. The young woman’s crowning glory is her long, beautiful hair, but in order to buy her husband a gold chain for his watch, his proud and precious possession, she has her long tresses cut off and sold. However, in the meantime he has decided to get her a tortoiseshell comb to set off her long tresses to perfection. The only way he can afford to do this is to sell his great pride and joy, the watch. They are left with presents that no longer have any material meaning, for out of their generosity they have sold what the chain and comb would have adorned. But they are both content with their gift, because they represent their love for each other.

Giving and receiving are central to being human. Our way of giving and our way of receiving flow out of the daily pattern of our lives. If that way of being is good, then what we offer to others will be an expression of that goodness.

This coming week the Norbertine Community at St. Norbert Abbey will gather in Chapter and Retreat. I will be at the Abbey from Monday, January 4th through Friday, January 8th. Know that I will be holding each of you and our parish family in prayer and ask you to do the same for me and the Norbertine Community. Should you have an emergency or find it necessary to reach me, I can be reached on my cell phone (619-7844) or through the Abbey central office at 337-4300.

Oremus Pro Invicem,
Father Tom

Related link:
01.03.09 Church Bulletin

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