“Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.”
Everyone has a ritual for ringing in the New Year and mine is pretty simple. The first thing I do is pause and thank God for my blessings.
The year has been rich in Gospel witness—a blessing with so many rewards. Thanks to you, our Fathers and Brothers have brought the compassion of Our Lord to more families in need. Many of them have joined us as members of the faithful, taking on important pastoral roles as teachers, deacons, and leaders of prayer. Our Church is growing!
Faith is what motivates us to be who we are, the belief that when we witness the Gospel as missioners, more people come to know Christ and faith grows. Want to “rise up in splendor” and shine your light of faith? Here’s my suggestion: Share a blessing—a kind word, a visit, a helping hand. This is the essence of mission. So let’s live it!
A New Year is an opportunity for renewal, for starting over. The experiences we share as people of faith always bring us closer to God. And that includes our Journey of Faith each Sunday. The conversations you and I have are one of the blessings that add richness to my life, and I hope to yours. I look forward to another year of prayer and renewal in your company. Be sure to share your thoughts with me throughout the coming year and the ways mission is enriching your life.
Friend, my prayers are with you for a New Year filled with blessings. God will be with us, I know, because our mission faith is strong. I can’t think of a better way to begin anew than with encouragement from St. Paul: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” (Roman 8:28) May our year be rich in goodness and every expression of God’s love.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for the Epiphany of the Lord
Lord, we have on earth no lasting city,
but you, Creator of the new,
eternal Jerusalem, you chose
to live here below among men and women
with Your Son, Jesus Christ,
the Lamb of God,
as the Temple not made by hands.
While we wander in the world
remind us of our heavenly home
where all the righteous are citizens.
Walk with us each day of
our earthly exile
and draw us closer to yourself
by drawing us nearer to each other.
Let Your radiance shine through Your people
to guide to Your throne of mercy
all who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death
that everyone might be reborn anew.
Prayer by Father Joseph Veneroso, M.M.