Pastor’s Weekly Message 1-8-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and encounter in our Gospel the magi who have journeyed from the East to encounter the Christ Child.  The scripture does not tell us exactly where they are from, or how many of them there were,  their ages or genders. Our Christmas Crèches include three men and some camels, but realistically, they were likely quite an entourage when they arrived in Jerusalem seeking answers at Herod’s court. They did not find any there, at least not any truthful answers, but they sought the wisdom of the Hebrew Scriptures to guide them to Bethlehem and there greet the infant Jesus in a barn, surrounded by animals and his parents’ love and joy. The magi are a feast for our imagination, but they are also an important witness to how we can pursue our own ongoing intimate encounter with God.

In his 2021 Epiphany homily, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, told us that “we need to learn even better how to contemplate the Lord.” He highlighted three actions we might take, in imitation of the magi, to do that: “to lift up our eyes,” “to set out on a journey,” and “to see.” The magi found signs of God’s saving work in their study of astronomy, an interest and talent that was itself a gift from God. God endows us with an astonishing variety of passions and gifts, all of which can reveal God to the world in different ways. In the pursuit of our interests and our use of our God given talents we also have an opportunity to connect with our Creator. The fact that our interests vary is precisely why we are given each other: we each reveal a facet of God’s infinite goodness and beauty.

As we celebrate this beautiful feast, basking in the healing light of the Star of Bethlehem, I invite you to join me in considering what we might see when we lift up our eyes, and what journey our loving God is inviting us to undertake this year to grow closer to Him.

I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, great hope, and true joy. Please continue to  pray for peace in this New Year,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.

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