The Church celebrates Epiphany when Christ is revealed to the world. The star led the three kings to Jesus where they presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and worshiped the new born King. Next we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord. When Jesus was baptized, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit appeared like a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Celebrating our Catholic traditions around your kitchen table.
As you gather for mealtime this week, each family member can tell what “stars” lead them to Jesus. These can be persons (such as parents, teachers, priests, friends, etc.) events (such as family gatherings, special meals, etc.) or places (such as being in church, quiet time in their room, camping, etc.)
As you plan to celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord, have the children call or write a note to their godparents. Discuss each family member’s baptism – who was there, how the parents felt, what it means to each family member to be a part of God’s family.
After the Baptism of the Lord, we begin Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time is called “ordinary” because the weeks are numbered. The word stems from the Latin word ordinalis, which refers to numbers in a series. Ordinary Time is in fact the ordered life of the Church, the period in which we live our lives neither in feasting (as in the Christmas and Easter seasons) nor in penance (as in Advent and Lent), but in our watchfulness and expectation of the Second Coming of Christ.
How you, as a family, can celebrate who you are as Catholics.
During this Ordinary Time, we are asked to pray for peace on earth, Christian unity, the sick and their caregivers, students and teachers, and the unemployed. Use these intentions as your prayers before dinner or your nightly prayers. Discuss ways your family can work for peace, such as donating food to the Food Pantry, being conscious of water and praying for those who don’t have clean water for drinking, telling someone you may have hurt that you are sorry, and/or reading the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16) and discussing them as a family.
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES The feast day of St. Francis de Sales is January 24. Francis was from a wealthy family and received a very good education. After his studies were completed, his father wanted him to marry, but Francis had decided through prayer to become a priest and share his love of God with others. Francis learned how to multiply his efforts to bring people to God by writing essays explaining doctrines of faith and distributing them to as many people as possible. He also was a powerful speaker who spoke in a simple and clear language. His writing and preaching brought many people to the Catholic faith.
Celebrating the feast days of the saints at home.
St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of writers. Choose a topic such as “Why we believe” or “What it means to be a Catholic”, or another topic and have everyone in the family add a sentence or two to your family essay. In Francis’ day (16th century), printed material was limited. How have communication methods changed and what ways can be used now to tell people about God and the Church?