From the Pastor’s Desk

Feast of the Holy Family

Dec 31, 2023

“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.”
-Luke 2:40

 

Brothers and Sisters,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As much as we may want to hold on to our childlike wonder and never grow up like Peter Pan, time inevitably affects us all. Parents may look at their child one moment and then blink to find themselves staring up at their teenager, wondering how they have grown so much and where all the time has gone.

As we celebrate the Holy Family, we can learn from the example and intercession of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We might be tempted to think their hardships were insignificant because angels protected them. However, we should consider the challenges they had to overcome. Shortly after giving birth, Mary and Joseph had to protect the baby Jesus from the dangers of the world, such as cold, hunger, and unjust political oppression from the troubled Herod. They were forced to flee to Egypt, which meant facing a long and arduous journey. As immigrants, they had to deal with the challenges of being in a foreign land where the language and culture were different. Although we don’t know exactly when they returned to their homeland, we know that they visited the Temple when Jesus was a teenager. After all the efforts to keep Jesus safe, Mary and Joseph had to face the frightening situation of a lost child. They must have been worried about his abduction. When Jesus became an adult, Mary and Joseph experienced the pain of loss when Joseph died.

When you and I face life’s uncertainties, challenges, and changes, we must remember that although the world may seem broken and scary, it is not the final authority. God is. Through the suffering of a vulnerable immigrant child, a path to salvation has been opened. When you look at your children, whether they are still young and innocent, grown into adulthood, or in between, try to see them through the eyes of our loving Savior. God is full of compassion and mercy. And even if we feel we haven’t raised our children perfectly, all is not lost. God has the final say – the Word who became flesh and made His dwelling among us.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who made our Christmas celebration meaningful and uplifting. Your devotion and prayerful contemplation spent at mass and in adoration have truly blessed our parish community. Your dedication to serving in various ministries, such as altar servers, lectors, communion ministers, musicians, cantors, singers, and hospitality ministers, is truly admirable and a gift to the Lord. Your hard work in cleaning and decorating has helped create a beautiful space for us to worship the Lord. Your desire to share the love of Christ with others has resulted in many individuals being fed, clothed, and receiving gifts, instilling hope and a sense of worth in those who may be struggling. Your kindness and generosity are a true testament to the love of God. Thank you for your continuous efforts to encourage one another to grow in faith and charity!

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Going on at OLPH:

EPIPHANY & CHALKING OF THE DOORS Blessed chalk available Jan 6/7 – The Feast of the Epiphany is the traditional day to gather and ask God’s blessing on our homes and on those who live in or visit them. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows. The numbers represent the year, and the letters C + M + B represent the names of the Magi who came to see the Christ child, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Visit: olphparish.org/epiphany-blessing/

APOLOGY, HEALING, & ACTION – Please read Archbishop William Lori’s letter, where he addresses the depth of pain endured by victim-survivors, apologizes for the grievous harm they experienced, addresses healing, and how the Church of the past is no longer. The pastoral letter outlines the actions that have been taken over the last three decades, including mandatory reporting of all accusations to law enforcement, fingerprinting and background checks, volunteer and all-employee training, zero-tolerance policies, ongoing therapeutic care offered to all victim-survivors and much more. Please visit https://www.archbalt.org/apology-healing-action/

MEN‘S DISCERNMENT RETREAT –This retreat is intended for Catholic Men 18- 40. The weekend will include prayer, dynamic talks, fraternity, and time with seminarians and Archbishop William E. Lori. Location: St. Mary’s Seminary, 5400 Roland Ave. Baltimore, MD. Jan-5-7. Visit https://www.archbalt.org/vocations/ to learn more about this event.