Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope you are happy and doing well on this first weekend of 2022.
In our first reading for the Epiphany of the Lord, we heard how the Prophet Isaiah sought to inspire God’s people in the midst of their exile and to remind them that they were still God’s chosen people. At a time when Israel was defeated and torn apart, Isaiah’s words hearken back to another time, perhaps to the time of King Solomon’s court. It was at that time when the Temple in Jerusalem was enjoying the height of its prestige and the wealth of other nations was flowing into the city. Foreign kings and dignitaries were passing through to curry favor with Solomon and to seek his wisdom in so many ways, including religious issues.
Isaiah wanted the Jewish people to believe that restoration was possible, that God had not forgotten or forsaken them. They needed to believe that God had a plan for them to return to the promised land of their fathers.
Brothers and sisters, God’s plan for us is quite different from what the Jewish people of Isaiah’s time expected. God’s plan for us is not to make us into a nation that is the first among all the other nations of the world. God’s plan is to bring us out of the darkness of this world so that we can find the light of his glory shining in Jesus.
Let us try our best to be lights to those who are in spiritual darkness and to those who feel hopeless and in despair because of the various challenges they face in life. Let us respond to our call, in virtue of our baptism, to shine with the warmth and the love of God, so that we might draw others to come and worship the Son of God who is born for us again.
May you all have a blessed, happy, and prosperous New Year!
God bless you all!