Today’s Feast of The Baptism of the Lord forms a bridge between this Christmas Season and the next season: it is both the culmination of the Christmas Season and the beginning of Ordinary Time: it is both an ending and a beginning. With the end of the Christmas Season we still sing things of Christmas, and yet we celebrate Jesus’ baptism today and remember our own baptismal promises as prophesied in Isaiah: “the victory of justice…a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind…”
Every time we end anything, something new begins—that is where we get the saying about closed doors and opened windows. As human beings we struggle and dislike any kind of change—change is always so difficult and usually uncomfortable. The start of something new means the letting go of something other. Rev. John O’Donohue (writer and poet) reminds us that in our “out-of-the-way places in our heart” any beginning is quietly forming—waiting until we are ready for it to emerge. He says with delight and courage our eyes young again, we may with energy and dreaming step on to new ground—even with an unclear destination. Does your New Year feel that way to you? Have you made resolutions that will lead you to the new? If not, I encourage you to make them now—because you can teach old dogs new tricks! (Just ask Fr. Alex).
“Though your destination is not yet clear you can trust the promise of this opening; awaken your spirit to adventure; hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk; Soon you will be home in a new rhythm, for your soul senses the world that awaits you.” Great advice from Rev. O’Donohue—and don’t forget what Jesus said more than any other thing: “Be not afraid.” Now is the time to identify what needs to be closed and the new that needs to be open. (Father Kevin spoke of this during Advent.) When wanting, needing, desiring some change I suggest you start with personal prayer, quietude and to try listening for that inner voice.
This last Sunday of the Christmas Season I would like to again take the opportunity to thank those in the Music Ministry for their dedication and service to the Parish of St. Aidan. The long rehearsals, extra rehearsals and private practice are a huge commitment and sacrifice of time, talent and treasure. Please thank any Choir/Music Ministry member today for all the time and effort spent in serving this Parish well!
Next weekend we will see changes in the liturgy reflecting the beginning of the new season of Ordinary Time: Ordinary Time means ordinal, or counted time, and we will study Jesus’ ministry—which is really anything but ordinary! Today ends the Christmas Season and we begin our liturgical ‘countdown’ that leads us to Lent and beyond. A new season begins as the other ends! May God bless you in this New Year with good health, peace and prosperity. In the meantime: Keep Singing!