With this Sunday’s celebration of the feast of the Epiphany, the Christmas Season draws to a close. “The Twelve Days of Christmas" culminate with the Epiphany of the Lord, referring to the visitation of the Three Kings or Adoration of the Magi, celebrated on January 6. On Monday, we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord and then it’s back to Ordinary Time with its green vestments.
In a homily on the Epiphany, Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, teaches: “Jesus is not one philosopher or sage or political figure among many. He’s not just another wise religious teacher. Rather, he is the Word made flesh – Logos, in John’s language. That means the divine mind; the great pattern; the intelligibility through which all things were created, toward which all minds are tending.”
The beauty of Christmas reflects this profound revelation: the Son of God became a man that all men might become more like God. God became human, and nothing human was alien to him but sin. Even our greatest suffering, darkness, and doubt draws us closer to him through Calvary. There’s nothing new under the sun, but by His life, death, andresurrection, the Son made all things new. And our celebration of Epiphany recalls the manifestation of that truth. This manifestation made – and still makes – all the difference in the world.
The star that guided the Magi still shines in the Gospel, which continues to guide us along our pilgrim way. The Church, and every person of faith, has been entrusted with that same light and we are called to carry that light into the dark places of the world in our prayer, words and acts of charity.
This past Tuesday I attended the opening of the RI General Assembly as another legislative session begins. This means that I am once again heading to Smith Hill during the week to advocate on behalf of Catholic values and virtues. This requires my presence at the RI Statehouse during afternoons and sometimes later in the evening for hearings. We hope and pray that the new legislative session might truly be productive for our state and that nothing contrary to Catholic teaching on human life, human dignity and the common good are able to advance and become law.
However, issues such as the wide scale expansion of abortion rights including public financing and also the legalization of physician assisted suicide are once again being vigorously supported by anti-life extremists and their many allies in the statehouse. These anti-life forces are well organized and well funded. Along with these important fundamental issues of human life and dignity. The Church is always vigilant in our advocacy of those issues concerning the rights of Catholic School Families, support for traditional family life, refugee services and immigration reform.
With a projected huge state budget deficit the issues of poverty and the social safety net for the vulnerable are also of concern. So I ask for your prayers for my lobbying and advocacy on behalf of the RI Catholic Conference. Also please pray for all our elected officials that they may truly serve the common good of our state, work to protect all human life and always truly respect human dignity.
If you have visited our candle room then you have seen the new statues. We are deeply grateful to the Manocchia Family for their generous donation of a beautiful statue of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta in memory of their late Mother, Matilda. St. Teresa of Calcutta is the patron saint of the poor and also of doubters.
Also there are two older statues now in the candle room that are new to OLM. They come to us from the now closed St. Casimir Church in Providence. We were able to get these beautiful statues of Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Sorrows for OLM at no cost. They now have a new home in our Church after decades inspiring the faithful of St. Casimir’s.
So make a visit to the candle room, light a candle and turn to Our Lady and the Saints for their powerful intercession for your needs and intentions. All the candles that light up our candle room and the Our Lady of Mercy Shrine in Church,represent the many prayers we offer to God. It’s always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness!
Do good. Be well. God Bless! Go Pats!!!