From The Pastors Desk
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. We all know the story of the three wise men who come bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for baby Jesus. Traditionally, it is on this feast day that gifts are exchanged amongst family. The ultimate gift Jesus wants from us is our very selves. The Lord is calling us to give ourselves totally over to him. Our hearts must be rooted in Christ, who ultimately gives of himself for our salvation. With the way the calendar falls this year, tomorrow, January 8th is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which concludes the Christmas season. Next week we will enter the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. As we conclude this Christmas season, we pray that the light of the newborn King will shine brightly for all the world to see. May Christ, born in a stable in Bethlehem, continue to reign in our hearts, as we strive to bring the Good News to all our brothers and sisters. May the gifts we bring before the Lord be for the building up of the Kingdom of God here in Bedford Stuyvesant.
Diocesan Mass Commemorating the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Each year the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns sponsors a prayer service commemorating the birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, a special Mass will be celebrated in honor of Dr. King’s birthday. The Mass will take place on Monday, January 15 at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Flatlands Brooklyn beginning at 12:00Noon. The Main Celebrant and Homilist will be Archbishop Nelson Perez, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Flyers for the Mass are available at the doors of each of the churches.
On behalf of Father Franklin and Father Smith, we thank all of you for your kindness and generosity this Christmas. The rectory was filled with so many treats, goodies and spirits! From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for thinking of us this Christmas. We are truly blessed to be your shepherds here at St. Martin de Porres. In your kindness, we ask that you continue to pray for us. As you may know, we have a small Blessed Sacrament chapel on the top floor of the rectory, where we as priests can privately pray. Please know that we pray for each of you daily.
One of my favorite feast days is the Baptism of the Lord. Unfortunately, this feast will not be celebrated on a Sunday. Each year, on this feast day, the Holy Father has the custom of baptizing infants in the Sistine Chapel. Allow me to end with His Holiness Pope Francis homily last year for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord:
“Your children are now all silent, and that is good. But perhaps someone will “give the cue”, begin. And since babies are symphonic, they will all follow suit. Let them shout, let them cry. Perhaps some will cry out of hunger: nurse them. With all freedom. The important thing is that today this celebration may be a feast day, the feast of the beginning of a beautiful Christian journey, in which you will help your children to go forward. Perhaps some are overdressed and hot; let them be comfortable; may all be comfortable. We celebrate this beginning of the journey with them. And it is up to you to help them move forward”.
Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox