It’s great to be back! I thank Fr. Damian for covering Masses here last weekend. I heard he thought the 7:30 am Mass was at 8:00 am, and consequently was 20 minutes late for Mass. I also thank Fr. Damian for making my being late for the 7:30 am Mass pale in comparison to his tardiness! Lol
This Tuesday the Church celebrates the Feast of The Presentation of Mary in the Temple. The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal “Infancy Narrative of James.” In it, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne (who were barren) received a heavenly message saying that they would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Other texts dating back to the early Church, state that Mary was three years old at the time.
The feast originated as a result of the dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary built in 543AD by the Byzantines under Emperor Justinian near the site of the ruined Temple in Jerusalem. Today, the church is known as The Church of Saint Anne built in 1131AD. I visited this church in my travels through the Holy Land 11 years ago.
In the Orthodox Church tradition, all women with the name Mary (Maria in Greek) celebrate their Name Day this day, perhaps with birthday party hats, balloons and kazoos; okay, maybe not!
This week we also celebrate Thanksgiving. A day set aside to give God thanks and praise for all the blessings in our life. The best way to give God thanks is to attend Mass. I understand that it is difficult for many of you to attend Mass on Thanksgiving Day because of traveling, cooking, and preparing for the family gathering. So this year, we will gather for the Vigil Mass the evening before Thanksgiving Day, on Wednesday at 6:00 pm. A free-will offering basket will be provided in front of the Altar to help our local food pantry.
Have safe travels and a blessed Thanksgiving!