- The fourth-week in Ordinary Time this year is February 2 and traditionally, the Church celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast is known as the feast of Encounter in the Eastern Church where it began. In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a world day of prayer for consecrated life attached to this feast. Of course, in the United States and Canada, when one hears February 2, what comes to mind is Groundhog Day, the day when a prediction is made about how many more weeks of winter are left depending on whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not.
- But unlike the uncertainty of the weather, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord has a sense of certainty associated with it. In this feast, we celebrate the certainty of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel that is fulfilled in Jesus but that is extended to the entire world. And, we celebrate the continuation of God’s love in our own world, of God continually reaching out towards us and inviting us into a relationship or encounter.
As we reflected on the reading from Luke, we will be struck by two aspects.
The first involved Mary and Joseph bringing Jesus to the temple. In a way, they make Jesus present. The second aspect is of Simeon and Anna recognizing Jesus as the promised one.
As disciples of Jesus, each one of us is called to embrace both these aspects. To be the presence of Jesus in the world around us and to be able to recognize Jesus as revealed or made present by others.
- Please keep our Bishops from Region XII (U.S. West Coast and included our Archdiocese of Seattle) will begin an ad limina (periodically visit with the Pope and the tomb of St. Peter) this coming week in Rome. Of particular interest will be a Mass on Monday morning (February 3) in the crypt of St. Peter Basilica, followed by a two and a half-hour meeting with Pope Francis. And then, the following week, the regional bishops will have their annual retreat together in Siena.
- This week, we continue to celebrate “Catholic School Week” in our Olympic Deanery. Representative from St. Nicholas Catholic School from Gig Harbor will speak at Mass and will be available for any family who would be interested in Catholic Education for their children, please come and meet at the Parish Community Room after Mass.
- The “Sacrament of Reconciliation” for children from our parish this (last) Saturday February 1, echo for me and many of you, the healing power of Jesus who is reaching out to heal us and restored us to life that God has offered for all of us and especially for these children their “second significant sacramental moment” in their journey of Faith since receiving the “Grace of Baptism – The beginning in God’s Life” a unique opportunity to encounter Christ in the Sacraments they will receive this year.
With the presence of these “children’s families” and “Catechists – Religion Teachers”, the fruit of their labor has prepared these children for the experience of God’s Love in the gift of “Forgiveness” and offer a “Life of Grace” to continue to grow in Faith. “Parents” - thank you for passing on the gift of Faith and nurtured this Faith in your families. “Catechists” - thank you for sharing and modeling your gift of Faith in helping educated these children from our parish community.
- A “word of thanks” to Richard Gallagher and Fr. Ron Belisle who have come to help our children to celebrate this Sacrament of Reconciliation last. Also, a word of thank, to the parish staff whose help coordinate this program: Maria Murphree and Sharon Lajoie.
- As people who love “Football”, across the nation or even the whole world, there’s an opportunity to enjoy the best that the game of Football can deliver from this Sunday, February 2 - Super Bowl LIV matchup between the two teams: The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, May the best team win….
Have a wonderful week in the Joy of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Fr. Phuong Hoang