This week we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Epiphany is the other half of our Christmas Story where we are reminded that all peoples are welcome to encounter the peace of Christ. This weekend in particular, we are mindful of those who are considered “outside” the normal course of things, those migrants and immigrants who come to us from outside our country. Like our own ancestors of old, they too are looking for new life, new opportunities. They too deserve some of the freedoms we enjoy. The Bishops of United States (USCCB) point out that everyone deserves a chance to better themselves by “following the star,” the light of Jesus. Yet, so often they are prevented from doing so, either because of political roadblocks or social/economic difficulties. It is our task then to help alleviate some of these obstacles in our own place and time. Like the Christ Child, we can all do our part to open doors, to welcome and to accept them along with the many gifts and talents and treasures they have to have to offer and add to use. Contrary to popular belief, we are all enriched by other people’s diversity.
As this New Year begins, first: “I want to wish everyone a very healthy and Happy New Year!” May you and your family be truly blessed by our God. I also want to remind everyone of other families throughout the world, especially those foreigners and strangers, who come into our nation and who wish to be part of us. Like Jesus, may we also receive them with the open arms of joy! May we also not be afraid share with them the riches of our own Christian faith and bring the good news of Jesus to them.