Our wonderful Christmas season is over, and we now enter into Ordinary Time – as in ordinal, so it’s a predictable, numbered period of time that sounds very stable, dependable, and orderly. Yet our work as stewards continues on in this new year.
Our holiday celebrations came one right after another. We’ve had so much to celebrate and enjoy, but now we can feel run down, let down, and a desire to return to whatever our normal is. However, it’s a new year; there’s so much to do, and look forward to. Where do we find some motivation to get going?
In today’s first reading, our Lord gives us confidence and a beautiful purpose to serve him and others: “It is too little . . . for you to be my servant; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6).”
John the Baptist was the final prophet that lighted the way for Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus spread the light of God’s word and love throughout his ministry. After persecuting the early followers of Jesus, Paul became a believer, an apostle, and the light to the Gentiles. Now, God gives to each one of us light and strength. If we feel we’re flagging, even after the hectic pace of the holidays, we can always turn to God for strength and purpose.
Our time is ordinary so it can help us plan and carry on as God’s stewards. As in the Epiphany song, we can ask Jesus, King, God, and Sacrifice, to guide us to his perfect light. As stewards, we are God’s special servants, his instruments and messengers, and we can share our light with everyone along the way.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner
My mother’s favorite Christmas song was “The Little Drummer Boy,” about a poor child who makes the infant Jesus smile when he plays his drum. The little drummer boy went along with others to see Jesus and played for him because he had no other gift to bring. Though a fictional character, his story is similar to the Wisemen in the story of the
Just like the Magi, the little drummer boy sought out Jesus, the newborn king, and gave him all he had – the gift of his talent. That’s a powerful example of stewardship for us, just like the pledges we are considering for the new year, in addition to all the ways we already serve our parish community and others.
Epiphany is a wonderful feast because it’s for everyone. We are all daughters and sons of God. Epiphany also reminds us that there are no foreigners or outsiders with God. Everyone can pray to him; there are no exceptions. And if God is everyone’s Father, then every person is our sister or brother. This is a gift from God we can share with everyone.
In today’s first reading, God gives Moses this beautiful blessing: “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
Let’s be thankful then for our wonderful holidays, as well as the opportunities to share our time, talent, and treasure with others. Finally, let us be grateful for today’s reminder to seek out our Lord, and offer him our best gifts. God continues to smile at us, and shower us with blessings of all kinds.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner