From The Font
“Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.”
Before electric lighting, oil candles and cooking fires were the normal way of extending the light of day into the dark of night. Oil was not cheap and for many people, half of life was spent in at least partial darkness. In the wintertime, this was especially potent as the sun might set at five in the evening and the entire family had to sit around a small cooking fire. The idea of a place with all the light that one wanted was a powerful symbol. And all it takes is one extended power outage to connect us with just what light means.
The feast of Epiphany is all about the revealing of Jesus as the Divine-among-us. While the Nativity celebrates the humanity of Jesus, the Epiphany celebrates His Divinity. In the Eastern world, today is the day for presents and parties rather than Christmas.
The symbol of the star brings together both the symbol of darkness and the symbol of light. The star is itself a powerful source of light, but one that can only be seen in the nighttime. The star is recognized by the pagan wise men of Babylon, but it leads them to the heart of Jewish Israel. The movement of the stars with the unique position of Jupiter “in” the constellation Virgo, with the alignment of the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars to the constellation Leo and with the “rising” of Jupiter above Jerusalem on that winter day revealed to the Magi that something very serious was happening and yet they missed the deep symbolism of Virgo, Leo and, indeed, Jupiter itself. The gifts of the Magi, themselves, echo the multi-layered symbolism of the star. Gold is given for a king, incense for a priest and myrrh as a prophesy of Jesus’ Passion and death.
Epiphany can’t really be taken separately from Christmas just as the Humanity of Jesus cannot be understood separately from His Divinity. And the light of the star can’t be comprehended apart from the darkness of the night. This is perhaps also why the poor and the meek find and love Jesus more easily than the wealthy and comfortable. Since Eve, our human condition is to look to ourselves for truth rather than to the Lord. These feasts remedy that.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This Sunday I’ll give one of my favorite sermons, which I am shamelessly stealing from a presentation by Rick Larson which was published as a documentary film in 2007. Larson’s presentation has some flaws. He makes a couple of subtle historical errors and has to tap dance around some theological issues as a Protestant who doesn’t want to say anything good about the Catholic Church on camera… Still, his astronomy is top notch and that’s where the bulk of my interest lies anyway.
Basically, the stars between 4BC and 2AD did some crazy moving around. Or at least, they seemed to move based on observation from the cities of Jerusalem and Babylon. The Magi or Wise Men were almost certainly from that great city in modern day Iraq and they shared the Ancient Near Eastern understanding of the symbolism of certain stars (like Regulus) and what we understand to be planets (like Jupiter).
When the magi looked through their simple telescopes and jotted down the position of Regulus and Jupiter and the positions of the constellations Virgo (the Virgin or the Maiden) and Leo (the Lion), they were surprised to notice some unexpected interactions. In particular, they noticed that Jupiter wasn’t moving along it’s ordinary path from one side of the sky to the other. Strangely, it seemed to have forgotten to turn off the stove and pulled a sudden U-turn in the sky… Then, it did it again… and again… And for a good, long while, Jupiter spun around in small circles. That was odd enough in itself - the “king star” usually doesn’t get distracted that way. What was even more curious is that the king star (Jupiter) was doing all this spinning and looping “inside” the constellation Virgo… So the king was there, seemingly waiting, in the virgin.
As this oddity was happening, the constellation Leo with it’s nine stars was joining up with Mercury, Venus and Mars to form a crown of twelve stars over the virgin’s head… And then, in December of 2AD, when the “crown” was settled above the virgin, the Sun rose “above” “her” head while the moon remained visible “below” “her” feet. (If these images sound familiar, they’re what we see in Revelation 12 - the Woman Clothed with the Sun.) All of this was too much for the Magi to ignore and so they made the journey toward the star which led them to the Roman client-kingdom of Israel. There, they met the king (who was a Roman puppet) who hadn’t been paying attention to any of this and was shocked to hear what the wise men said about a star in the east and the foreshadowing a future king being born in his territory. Herod was so convinced that he gave these foreigners travel papers through his kingdom and asked them to touch base with him when they had followed the star. It’s not for nothing that Herod was so convinced that he murdered thousands of children and made himself and his sons (the future kings) enemies of the people for the rest of their time on the throne. It’s incredible that the Lord put these things into place not just at any time, but from the moment of the Big Bang… The stars, themselves, really do proclaim the Glory of God!
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Fri & Sat from 5p until Mass at 5:30p and on Sun from 9a until 9:30a Mass
- Pastoral Council meeting monthly on the third Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
Sunday Morning Catechism in the Hall after the 9:30a Mass unless otherwise indicated
January 5 Saturday after Mass -- Burning of the Greens -- including fellowship in the Hall
- January 6 First Sunday - Traditional Latin Mass - 12 noon
For Your Information:
BURNING OF THE GREENS…We will have the Burning of the Greens this Saturday, January 5, 2019 following Saturday Mass on the church grounds.
2018 CALENDARS….can be found on the table at the entrance of church. Feel free to take one for home and one for your office as we have sufficient.
2019 STEWARDSHIP ENVELOPES… Stewardship envelopes can be found at the entrance of church. If you do not find a box with your name on it, it is probably because you have indicated that you prefer not to use envelopes because you are doing automatic bill pay or some other method of conveying your monies to St. Edward. There is a page in the Stewardship book on which your contributions are noted each week/month/quarter so that at the end of the year you will receive a statement of your contributions. If there is someone who would like envelopes and there are none there, please advise the church office.
2019 FLOWER CALENDAR is on the bulletin board at the entrance of church. Please consider special events in your life or that of your family and consider putting flowers on the altar at least once this year for one of those events. If each family put flowers just one week, we would have fresh flowers for the entire year. Just pencil your name or intention in on the calendar and the church office will call to remind you of the date.
PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN… parish volunteers must be VIRTUS trained and go on line regularly at www.virtus.org for the latest training bulletins. Any questions or issues can be reported to the office. Printed resources are available on the table at the entrance to the Church.
* “Protecting our Children, Understanding and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse” includes Resources and Contact Numbers for reporting abuse. * “Protecting God’s Children, Teaching Touching Safety Quick Reference Guide”
The Diocesan Policy for the Protection of Minors and The Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct for Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Ministers, Administrators, Staff, and Volunteers are available in the Safe Environment section of the diocesan website at DioceseAlex.org or a copy may be requested from the Safe Environment Office (318) 445-2401.
PLEDGE TO HEAL...If you or a family member has been abused or victimized by a representative of the Catholic church or a member of the clergy, please believe in the possibility for hope and help and healing. Dr. Lee Kneipp, Clinical Psychologist, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Diocese of Alexandria encourages those persons to come forward and speak out. Dr. Kneipp is establishing support groups in the central Louisiana area for victims and family members. The focus of these groups is to further emotional and spiritual healing as an adjunct to therapy, in an atmosphere of others who understand the pain, betrayal, and fear associated with abuse. Dr. Kneipp can be reached at 318-542-9805. All calls are confidential.
WEDNESDAY EVENING CATECHISM... Once a month, we will have adult catechism in the Church, after the 5:30p Mass. Guests are welcome! Topics for 2019 and the date are as follows:
- Jan 16: Why do bad things happen to good people
- Feb 13: Catholic Devotionals - The Rosary, Holy Water, Relics
- Mar 26–28 (Lenten Series): The Virtues We Need to Get to Heaven
- Apr 17: The Passion of Jesus
- May 15: The Encouragement that comes from the Truth
- Jun 19: The Old Testament in the Christian Spiritual Life
- Jul 17: Saints for US, Here and Now
- Aug 7: The Virtue of Hope
- Sep 11: Islam
- Oct 16: The Church in American History
- Nov 13: Hades, Sheol, Limbo, Purgatory & Hell
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2018-19 $1,917
- Nov Budget $7,668
- Nov income $8,958
- Nov expenses $8,640
- Dec Budget $9,585
- Collection Dec 22/23 $1,551
- Dec Income to Date $10,352
Stewardship The three kings in today’s Gospel traveled a great distance at considerable cost to offer their richest gifts to the Infant Jesus. How far will I go and what will I offer to do homage to this newborn King and Savior?
SPECIAL COLLECTION This weekend’s second collection is our once-a-month Building Fund collection
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Marie Michele/Weaver
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Sun Noon First Sunday - Traditional Latin Mass - Father Ryan’s Special Intention
- Mon NO MASS
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Joe Scurria/G&B Cox
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Juanita Storey/Lancaster
- Thurs 9:00a In memory of May DiTomasso Olive Branch
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Louise Testa/Magoun
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Curt and Anna May Farlow/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
ALTAR CANDLES this week are burning for the special intentions of Margo Reynolds
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 1/5 5:30p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: A Farlow & C VanderVieren
- 1/6 9:30a
- Servers: A Collins & M Wood
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 1/12 5:30p
- Lector: A Keene
- EMHCs: L Magoun & M Rome
- 1/13 9:30a
- Servers: C Wood & C Sullivan
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 1/19 5:30p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 1/20 9:30a
- Lector: W Sullivan & A Collins
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Edward Yerger (Jan 7), C. W. Keene (Jan 9), Matilda Johnson (Jan 10)
Happy Anniversary Abby and Darryl Ellerbee (Jan 5), Alyssa and Teddy Oliver (Jan 10)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; our Bishop David Talley and Bishop-Emeritus Ronald Herzog, our President, our Governor, our Mayor and our national, state and local elected representatives, our family and friends
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes,, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Matt Hall (military), Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Dale and Louise Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue and Mike Rome, and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, Sue Scurria. Jim Farrell of Vicksburg, Sharon Hansen of Gonzales, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, Jean Cantrell, Marie Cedotal, Geneva Russell.
Our friends and relatives who need our prayers: Lee Adams (Smith), Ashley Weimer Alexander (Regan), Jenna Faye Allen (Florence), Margaret Baker (Magoun), Marie Farlow Bellard, Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Tommy and Gail Byrd, Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Kay Collins, Karen Cobb, Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Carole Ducote (Lancaster), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, JoAnn Phillips Finn (Hodge), Thom Gilfoil, Charlotte Green, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Bo Holloway, Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jeannie Kivett, Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Michelle McGuire (Gilfoil), Mathieu family in Delhi (Wilks), Tobie McKowen (Wilks), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Lindsay Mills, Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Lee, Tiffney Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Walter Scott, Andy Sevier, Spencer and Mary Sevier, Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Theresa Thom (Rome), Elaine and James Trimble (Rome), Adam Triplett (Reynolds), Teresa Vidrine (Wilks), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegiates: Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Josh Hall, Nick Hall, Chris Hall, Kathleen Oliver, Maddie Oliver, Bailey Rome, Blake Sullivan, Lori Sullivan, Brice Wood
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and our local Detention Centers and for their families and loved ones.
PLEASE LET US KNOW OF ANYONE WHO IS ILL OR HOSPITALIZED OR WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A VISIT.
PLEASE HELP US TO UP-DATE OUR PRAYER LIST BY ADVISING US OF ANYONE WHO SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE PRAYER LIST.