Kathy M, 01-08-17

Dear Loyola Parishioners and Visitors,
Happy New Year!
You’ve said and heard that quite a bit by now. When we say ‘happy,’ I’m sure we also mean blessed, healthy, prosperous, fulfilling…the list goes on, doesn’t it? There are likely several things we wish for in a new year, both for ourselves and for our loved ones. I think back on 2016 and sometimes wonder how I made it through. Then I think back and say, ‘thank you, Lord’ because I did make it through. So now, I look to 2017 with hope, unsure what it has in store for me, but trusting in the opportunities and lessons that are ahead.

There’s a great lesson for us today as we of course celebrate Epiphany. When I was younger, the only idea I really grasped about Epiphany was it was the day the wisemen came with their gifts to offer, and I could finally move the ‘3 kings’ in our nativity scene closer to Jesus. Christmas, and all the excitement that came with it, was over. So at the time, it was a little lost on me that this (Epiphany) was a huge event. These men traveled ‘afar’ in faith to find this child, this King, this Messiah.

They knew. They knew when they saw the star and eventually arrived at His side, that they had found our salvation. We, too, can travel in faith and offer our gifts. Our gifts of love, compassion and prayer. Perhaps this new year and new beginning challenge us to also bring gifts that are a little more difficult to offer: forgiveness, respect and sacrifice. The new year is certainly ‘clean slate’ time. It’s characterized by resolutions, goals, attempts to make something in or about our lives better. Hopefully we are drawn to that something better as the Magi were. In this new year, may we also follow the light that leads us to Christ. Let us, like my 3 kings, move closer to Jesus.

A very blessed, happy, healthy 2017 to you,
Kathy Murzyn