Bulletin PostsFr. Jay LettersThe 23rd Times

Jan. 7th, 2024 | The 23rd Times

By January 4, 2024 No Comments
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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

I guess when I was around 5 or 6 years of age, I remember my grandfather telling me and my older brother stories before we went to bed. My brother and I would always argue, and this sometimes evolved into little fights. We loved to lay our heads on our grandfather’s chest when listening to his stories. He always slept outside our house under a tree on a mat made of tender reeds and a little pillow to his head. He made up several interesting creative stories. There was one that I still remember about the Star of Bethlehem (showing us the brightest star in the sky) that led the three kings to adore Jesus. One of the three names was easily remembered because one of my cousins’ name was Balthazar.

I became so emotional when I read a true story that happened in Syria a few years ago. There was a young father named Ali Ahmad walking somewhere out in the field under moonlight with his 5-year-old son. While walking, the son saw a few shining stars in the sky and not realizing they were stars, he asked the father in a panicking voice ‘Papa…. are they going to bomb us again?’.

What a cruel world we are forced to live in today! We celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord this weekend. God revealed himself as Emmanuel to the shepherds and as Messiah to the wise men with a starlight leading them. The first reading talks about how Jerusalem would resume its glory with its light and splendor. Light and splendor means the presence of the Lord. The star of Bethlehem indicates the presence of the Lord not only to the gentile three wise men but also to us. Those who seek Him will find Him. The second reading talks about how the Gentiles could also become members of the same body of Christ Jesus. Jesus is the light who leads anyone who seeks Him. This light is full of peace to the world and brings redemption to humanity.

I pray that we try to become one of those wise men who avoided the evil but brought glory to the name of Jesus with their search for wisdom?

God Bless you and your family,
Fr. Jay Raju

  • Reading 1: Isaiah 60:1-6
  • Reading 11: Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
  • Gospel: Mathew 2:1-12