I. Feast of the Baptism of the Lord: today’s feast marks the end of the Christmas season within our liturgical year. During the Christmas season, we might have experienced a time of “being” instead of “doing.” With the chaos and business of Christmas preparation over, I discovered these last few weeks have been a time to spend with family and friends, and to live out the joy of the mystery of the Incarnation, to grow closer to Emmanuel, God with us.
II. Ordinary Time is Anything but Ordinary! Beginning on Monday, January 13, as we enter Ordinary Time (in the liturgical year), we are invited to integrate what we have experienced throughout the holy season of Advent/Christmas. What have we encountered in the Gospels of Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family, the Solemnity of Mary, Epiphany, and the Baptism of the Lord that has touched your life in a new and different way? And as I/you continue my/our life in the world through work or school or community service and interaction, how can I/you bring what you have experienced with you? In the waters of our own Baptism we were anointed priest (to celebrate), prophet (to preach), and king (to serve) and assured of our own “beloved-ness” (to be treasured or cherished) as a daughter or son of the living God. How is God calling you to live out this belovedness in your own public ministry?
III. The Call to Religious Life: Adam Hayden, son of Shelia & Glenn Calhoun, has heard God’s call to religious life, and will be entering as a postulant on January 15th, for the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy, whose motherhouse is in Auburn, Kentucky. We promise our prayers and support for Adam as he embarks upon this adventuresome faith journey.
IV. “We Never Become Poor by Sharing What We Have.” What a joy to experience all the Giving Tree tags taken and the gifts given to someone less fortunate. Inspiring as well are parishioners who, aware of their abundant blessings, chose to share those blessings with the needy in various ways. Your generosity never ceases! On behalf of the Cathedral, I am grateful for those who took advantage of making contributions from retirement accounts, usually available to those who have reached the noble age of 70.5! Thank you! As your pastor, I am grateful for your faithfulness to Sunday Eucharist, your involvement in liturgical ministries and committees, your growing sense of hospitality, and your unselfish outreach—all of which are expressions of your solid commitment of faith. Together we are building a strong, hospitable community of faith open to all!
V. Presbyterial Convocation: each year, the priests of the Diocese gather with our bishop for continuing education and building community. Father Sinoj and I, of course, will be part of this gathering, leaving on Monday, January 13 and returning on Thursday, January 16. (Therefore, there will be no Mass at Saint Stephen Cathedral on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of this week; and there will be 7:00am Mass only on Monday, January 13). Please pray for Fr. Sinoj and me, and all the priests of Owensboro Diocese along with Bishop Medley, especially this week.