Bulletin (January 8, 2006)

I remember talking to a man who mentioned that he had rented a certain video. I was surprised for two reasons: First, the man rarely watched videos and, second, the film in question was somewhat obscure. I asked him what he liked about the movie. He said, “I wanted to see it again because of a song that was played at the end.”

All of us have had an experience like that: a piece of music, a work of art, or a scene, such as a sunset, which sparked something in us and which continues to haunt us. Even as we get older, we do not forget it because it touched some hidden desire. What does this longing mean? St. Augustine had a keen insight into this aspect of human psychology. He once reflected on a verse from St. John’s first letter:

For we are the sons of God, and although what we shall be has not yet been revealed, we know that when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. St. Augustine added this comment: “For what are those treasures of wisdom and knowledge, what those divine riches, if not the one thing that can fulfill our longing? What are the great blessings of his goodness, if not the one thing that will content us? Therefore: Show us the father, and all our desires will be satisfied.”

Today, we hear about the Magi – those men who were impelled by some mysterious longing. It led them to Bethlehem where they placed their gifts and their lives before the Christ Child. May we also find the one who is the “desire of nations.”

This coming week I will be heading not to Bethlehem, but to Amity, Oregon, for my annual retreat. I look forward to the five days with the Brigittine monks, one of whom is former parishioner Roger Thibodeau, now known as Brother Simon. I will be there from Monday through Friday afternoon. Fr. Ramon and Deacon Ted will care for the normal sacramental needs of the parish.

Next weekend we begin Respect Life Week. We will have a speaker from Washington Human Life at all Masses. This is a beautiful moment to reflect on the gift of human life we have all received. It is not a gift we can take for granted because we live in a society which often reduces the meaning of human life to a series of sensations: the ability to experience pleasure and pain. For us those sensations are not ends in themselves, but clues to something much greater. We believe each person has an incalculable dignity that we must defend from the moment of conception till natural death. The value of human life is not something we make up, but which we discover.

Speaking of defending human life, I want to thank the Knights of Columbus for the great work they do. Please support them by attending this month’s Pancake Breakfast after the morning Masses. The funds will go toward paying for the bus that will be used for the seventh grade outing to the March for Life in Olympia. If you desire more information on this event, please contact Washington Human Life or Gary Samaniego.

This weekend a couple from our parish celebrates fifty years of marriage. Special congratulations go to Roland and Rita Crompe on their golden anniversary. Our prayers are with them – and also our gratitude for their fidelity, which should encourage other married couples, especially the young people of our parish. May God grant them and all married couples many years of life together.

¡Feliz día de los Reyes Magos! Voy a hablar más sobre ellos en la homilía. Son hombres que honestamente buscaban al Salvador y cuando lo encontraron (junto con su madre la Virgen Maria y San José) lo adoraron. Le dio regalos especiales de oro, incienso y mirra que voy a explicar en la homilía.

Esta semana voy a estar en Oregon para mi retiro anual, de lunes hasta viernes. El Padre Ramón se va a encargar de las misas y otros sacramentos durante este tiempo. Que Dios les bendiga en este día especial.

El próximo domingo es dedicado al Respeto para la Vida Humana. Habrá una presentación de un representante de Vida Humana en todas las misas.