Shortly after Christmas we began to see
discarded Christmas trees along the curbs. Our world doesn’t seem to
realize that it is still the Christmas season. Who could blame them
since stores have been touting Christmas wares since late October;
however, the Church perseveres and celebrates the birth of Jesus and his
manifestation as the Savior to the world from Christmas Day through the
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
During the Advent season Christmas carols
blared over store sound systems but not in church. We sang songs that
echoed the Gospel message of preparation for the coming of the Lord at
Christmas. Now we are singing carols that announce the birth of Christ
and its significance for the world. Last Sunday, on the Feast of the
Holy Family, we pondered, “What Child is This?” and reveled in “Hark!
The Herald Angels Sing.” Today, on Epiphany, our carols focus on the
star in the east and the three wise men; the manifestation of the Lord
to all peoples is proclaimed in “We Three Kings” and “The First Noel”.
Next week, on the Feast of the Baptism of
the Lord, we witness Jesus’ own baptism and the inauguration of his
mission on earth. Jesus’ public ministry proceeds from an authorization
by the Father and we as his followers share in his identity and in his
mission. The strains of “Joy to the World” close the season and echo
our elation at the Savior’s coming into our world. (January 2, 2005)