Feast of Epiphany – Year B-3rd January 2021
St Joseph’s Passionist Church
Tel: 01. 42 27 28 56
Feast of Epiphany: Vigil Mass: 6.30 pm 10.00 a.m. 12.00 noon; 6.30 p.m. [pre- registration required for these Masses]
Saturday Confessions: 11.30-12.30; 5-6 pm
Curfew 20h: after Evening Mass all will need to go directly home after Mass.
Collection 27 Dec: Mass Collection €618,71 ADP: €2,777; APP La Quête: € 55. Thanks for contributions to St Joseph’s.
New Year’s Day Mass at 11.00 & 12.30. Registration will be required for both.
Happy New Year to ALL for 2021
St Joseph’s will be blessed during the year with the celebration of First Holy Communions and Confirmations [CCD & Marymount School); Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults receiving the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil; Baptisms of children on first and last Saturday of each month with a Preparation Course beforehand; Weddings are resuming after a difficult 2020; Confessions each Saturday; Bible Study and Women/Men Spirituality online for the present; Daily and weekend Masses; Music ministry and return of choirs when possible; Lectors and Eucharistic ministry serving at the Altar of God; Ushers and Mass registration; resumption of Coffee after Sunday Mass as early as we can: Saturday Rosary and other prayers; Stewardship Group who care for the church, toilets, etc. on Saturday; YAM and ‘Feed the Homeless’ as conditions will allow; there are ‘unseen’ moments of grace among us. Then, the ‘surprises’ that God has in store for us. As you know the Passionist Provincial Chapter has been twice postponed due to COVID and is now due in July 2021. As I had indicated to you, had the Chapter taken place in June or October 2020, a new Curé/Superior would now be in place at St Joseph’s. With so much uncertainty, I wished to ensure a smooth transition and offered to be replaced before the end of Summer 2021. This was accepted and an appointment made by Provincial Superior. Due to COVID deterioration it has not been possible to implement this. When COVID conditions allow, you will be welcoming a new Superior/Curé to St Joseph’s. I will post updates for you. For better or worse in the meantime, we continue together with God’s work. Aidan
Epiphany of Our Lord
The theme of the Epiphany Feast is that those who followed the star found the Messiah. My prayer for each of us at Saint Joseph’s is that the star of Hope, the star of Recovery will shine bright in 2021 and that each of us will have the courage to follow the star. We do this because, ‘your light has come, the glory of the Lord is rising on you, though night still covers the earth and darkness the people.’ [Isaiah in 1st Reading]
With the arrival of these visionaries from the East, the borders were crumbling. The Messiah came to his own people who failed to accept Him. But to all who did welcome him, He gave power to become children of God. It is amazing how energy-sapping divisions and barriers between us can be.
One of the latest wonders of the world happened in the past year. In the search for a vaccine, women and men of goodwill pooled their resources and research and blessed the world with hope of a better future. Light began to shine in a world that had become a place of death and of great suffering for millions of people.
Another wonder emerged in our world as ‘hidden’, ‘quiet’ and ‘taken for granted’ people emerged into the light. Without any great thought for their own risk of infection these stepped forward and kept life going for us. Prayer intensified, and church doors remained open whenever allowed. The Magi ‘returned to their own country by a different way.’ [Gospel of Mathew today]
Jesus was born and brought us a message that God does not have favourites. Jesus came to unite in hope and love all people and all of creation. Jesus crossed frontiers, not only of territory, but of tradition and accepted ways. He touched lepers, he spoke at a well on his own to a woman with more than one husband, he ate with tax collectors and sinners and allowed his feet to be washed by the tears of love from a woman who used her hair to dry them.
Epiphany 2021 is special in that we hear a clarion call to all nations to receive the God of Creation and Redemption. There is no ‘social distancing’, no masks, no papers to be carried. The only requirement is to want to live the truth in love with each other. This call is ours to spread to those who think that God does not care about them or who claim that God does not exist. What matters is that God believes in all people whom He has made. God knows all because God is ALL and is in ALL.
It saddens me when I hear people in the church say, ‘You cannot’. If that is turns out to be true, blessed be the will of God. But Epiphany is the feast of light which urges us to be positive and to explore the immensity of God’s love and care for His people. When we get together in prayer the impossible becomes possible because nothing is impossible to God. That is the wonder and the beaty of God in our midst.
There are three ‘kings’ and they carry three gifts to the newborn but hidden King. Gold is brought to a king. Tradition had it at that time that a King could not be approached without a gift in hand. Gold has long been regarded as the king of metals. Jesus is born to be king, but he will reign not by force but by love. In the end he will rule over our hearts, not from a throne but from a Cross. The church must never forget that we are not a community by coercion but by the attractiveness of Love.
Frankincense is the gift for a priest. In the Temple as the sacrifices were offered, the sweet perfume of frankincense rose to the throne of God. Jesus is the one true priest who opens the way to the presence of God. He is the only pontifex, the bridge builder, between us and God.
Myrrh is the gift offered for one who is to die. It is used in embalming. Jesus came to deliver us from death and from sin. And He did. That is why the gifts are not only for Jesus, but also for us today. Aidan, C.P.