St. Matthew

Catholic Church

Pastor's Columns

Pastor’s Column for 1/6/19

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the LORD. Even though I spent the first two years of my priesthood in Tarpon Springs, I never got the chance to go down to the famous Orthodox Celebration where the Archbishop throws a cross in the bayou and teenage boys go diving for it in the rather chilly waters. The goal of the victorious diver was to get a blessing from the archbishop which would allegedly assure a year of good luck. It all seemed a bit superstitious to me. What we celebrate today is the manifestation of Jesus to the world. There are three traditional manifestations associated with the Epiphany Celebration. The first and most obvious is the Magi or The Three Kings as they present the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The wedding feast of Cana and the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River are the other two classic manifestations of “light” which shine in the darkness.

Apart from these traditional ways that the light of Christ is made known in the world, we are constantly called to manifest His presence in our world today. One way I anticipate this happening is with a research meeting with our Public Defender Bob Dillinger on Tuesday in the afternoon as well as a strategy committee meeting in the evening regarding our Criminal Justice Concerns Committee with the FAST ministry. Additionally, our parish Visioning Committee for the Courageously Living the Gospel initiative will be meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the best ways to provide a Saturday morning session I’m calling the parish dreamers gathering. It’s on the calendar for January 26th in Bethany Hall. Another way those concerned with defending the defenseless can shine the light of Christ is by participating in the March for Life scheduled next Saturday in St. Augustine. Thousands from around FL & GA participated in past years and more are expected this year. Contact the Diocesan Office of Life, Justice, and Advocacy for information about the bus departing from our local deanery. I have gone in the past with our Youth Ministry and have found it to be a full and exciting day.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Tom J. Anastasia