20 C + M + B 14

In the malls and on tv, they immediately move on from Christmas–in order to exploit the next event for profit. But in church, we linger with Christmas for 2 ½ weeks. We meditate on the great mystery. And we try to get a grip on the year to come, for what it really is: a holy year of grace. The 2,014th year of Christ’s unfathomable grace.

In May, Pope Francis will visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem. He begins his trip on the 11th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood! In the fall, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the third session of the Second Vatican Council, and Holy Father will preside over the first part of the Synod on the Family! Too wonderful just to be a conincidence: This year in the cluster we already have four weddings scheduled, and there could be three or four more, on top of that!

john paul superstar time magazineBefore all this, on this coming Friday evening, our Francis-of-Assisi youth will co-sponsor a coffeehouse in Roanoke to help people get married! Get married at the proper time and in the proper way, that is.

Two weeks from today, we will go to Washington to stand up for the innocent and defenseless unborn babies!

Then, on the following day, our Francis-of-Assisi delegation will travel to Haiti to visit Father Serdieu and our twin parish in Trianon.

It is never too cold to do the will of God.

If you paid attention to the Epiphany proclamation on Sunday, you know that Lent doesn’t start until March 5 this year. So we get to go up the whole way through the Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time between now and then!

On April 27, Pope Francis will canonize John Paul II on the ninth liturgical anniversary of his holy death!

We read about the Lord marvellously walking on water. When someone does marvelous things, sometimes we say, “He walks on water!” Well, it appears as though 2014 will “walk on water”–that’s how amazing a year it will be. Jesus will walk on the water of time through AD 2014.

So we pray. We stay close to the Lord through the Mass and all the sacraments. We pray that the human race won’t destroy the environment, that global warming will be prevented. But we also pray that it will get a little warmer during 2014 than it is right now.

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PS. Not to mention: Immigration-Reform information session at St. Joseph, Martinsville, this very evening at 6:00pm, with a screening of “The Dream is Now.”