Fr. Daniel Gifford
Gifts we bring
“What shall I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.” This beautiful verse from the classic Christmas hymn, “In the Bleak Midwinter,” captures one of the deepest and most beautiful elements of the spiritual significance of the Adoration of the Magi for all of us. We may not have gold, frankincense or myrrh to offer our Lord, but every year this celebration should make us pause and consider what gifts we have to lay before our Lord. In this way, the Epiphany is really the culmination of the Season of the Holy Days, after beginning with preparing our hearts throughout Advent, in order to make them a gift to the Lord. Well, we also prepare to bring our gifts by recognizing the gifts we have received, just as the Magi “opened their treasures.” For us, here at St. Louis parish, our Epiphany Celebration is all about opening our treasures, to recall all that we received from God’s infinite goodness and the first gift we offer Him is gratitude. And that gratitude alone is worth pausing and taking a moment simply to celebrate God’s goodness, how the reality of God With Us is manifest to us in His many bless-
ings. It is worth carving out a bit of time this weekend simply to celebrate in gratitude. Yet, authentic gratitude overflows into generosity. So, as we bless the facilities of our parish home to begin this new year, we are asking God’s blessing upon our endeavors to continue to make these gifts given to us a gift back to Him. And so we invite the guidance of the Holy Spirit to continue to show us how to use these gifts for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. In the recent weeks, I have shared some of the good things already taking place in these halls to make disciples and to serve His Kingdom. And we remain committed to discerning where He will lead us in the future. So, truly, we offer back to God the gifts He has given us. Let us not forget the first gift He has given us, the gift of our lives. Let make our lives and our hearts a gift to the God who has made us for Himself.
SPEAKING OF GRATITUDE: I truly cannot adequately capture in words how gracious and
generous this parish has been to me in the form of gifts to celebrate the birth of our Lord! It is truly overwhelming, far beyond what I need or deserve. It is such that it would be nearly impossible to personally thank everyone who shared such generosity. So, please allow me to express a general word of heartfelt thanks to all who were generous to me this Christmas, in the form of gifts, cards, or prayers. These are all greatly appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Also, I want to issue a special thank you to all of our staff and volunteers, who have put in so much work to help prepare for this weekend’s Epiphany celebration. I especially want to thank Cathy Trowbridge and Bill Uher, who have been plugging away the past few weeks, in the midst of the holiday season, to get everything ready. Also, a big thank you to the CCW for organizing the refreshments and additionally for donating the carpet for the St. Jerome Room. And finally, to all those who have memorialized loved ones by donations to St. Louis Parish over the years. A portion of these gifts were used to provide funding for the artwork, paint and furnishings.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!