Today we return to the Sundays of Ordinary Time, the time between the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent. We leave behind the joyful songs, hymns and carols that mark this very special time of year; songs that bring joy to our hearts, whether popular songs like “Jingle Bells,” “Here Comes Santa Claus”or “Silent Night.” The music arouses a sense of inner joy that carries us through the short days and long nights of winter illuminated by outdoor lights and decorations. It is a wondrous time of year. We leave behind the Christ child and launch into the public ministry of Jesus, the adult who came to save us, redeem us and demonstrate his great love for us by dying on the cross. We need these annual liturgical cycles that are also connected to nature’s rhythms of birth, life and I believe these seasons of the year and our faith bring us hope.
Additionally, we thank God for the much needed rain that began refilling our reservoirs and pray for rain in southern California that is still coming up short on an adequate water supply. Going forward we cannot take for granted the gift of water for more and more we realize it is a precious gift that we must preserve and conserve for present and future use. The drought is not over even with fuller reservoirs.
2017 also marks another change in our world, in our country, and in our government, the peaceful exchange of power from one President to another. Next weekend is the inauguration of the next President of the United States, a time that may give us pause to reflect and ponder how important is our republic, how important is our democracy. I think we will come to reflect on the wisdom of our forebears who forged the Constitution and labored over passing the Bill of Rights and all the legislative work in between to understand, interpret and implement the principles of these documents.
We have elected officials, governmental leaders who have sworn to uphold and defend the principles of the Constitution and we pray that these principles will be honored, upheld, defended and promoted for a government by the people, for the people and with the people. We bless our outgoing President Barack Obama and pray for our incoming President Donald Trump that we will have a country that is united on these principles and not divided by special interests or lobby groups that have a different view of government than our forebears, Washington, Adams, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, and so many others. Let us pray for our country and pray that we will engage as citizens to protect and defend our constitutional rights.