Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Our gospel passage today depicts the visit of the three Magi, who come to pay homage to the newborn King, Jesus Christ. They do not come empty handed though. They come to Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These three gifts reflect the kingly status of the baby Jesus. The three Magi know who they are in the presence of! They know that Jesus is the true and eternal King, who will grow in grace and favor before God and man. The Magi know that this little child will grow to free humankind from their sins, by his sacrifice on the cross for our salvation. On this Epiphany Sunday, we give the gift ourselves to Jesus. He wants our whole selves, not just a mere part.
Traditionally in many Latin American countries, Epiphany Sunday is the actual day that gifts are exchanged amongst loved ones. Just as the Magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus, we bring gifts to our families and friends. As I mentioned in my homily on Christmas Eve, the one gift that I long for is peace! Peace in our world, peace amongst our families and yes, peace within our parish. We pray that the Lord will continue to bestow his peace to us, as we strive to do the will of our Heavenly Father.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service
Each year, the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns sponsors a prayer service commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, that prayer service will take place on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church located in Queens Village. There will be a bus leaving from St. Gregory the Great Church in Crown Heights that day. The cost per person for the bus will be $10. The homilist will be Father Peter Damian Harris, O.P. He is a Dominican priest located in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas. There will be a reception following the prayer service. All are invited.
Prayers for the Bishops of the United States of America
This week, all of the Bishops of the United States will gather for a retreat at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. This retreat was called for by Pope Francis himself. It was at his request that all of the Bishops come together for prayer and reflection, most especially as we pray for victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The retreat master is Father Raniero Cantalamesa,OFM. He is the preacher to the Papal Household. In your kindness I ask all of you to say a special prayer for our Bishops on retreat this week. We pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to hover over them as they shepherd our Holy Roman Catholic Church. May the Lord grant them the strength and the courage to be good and holy shepherds.
Have a great week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox