Sat. Jan. 4, 2014 – St. Jerome Church – Norwalk, CT

Four o’clock mass was for Vinnie’s Dad this evening, who passed away 7 months ago. It amazes me that 7 months have gone by. How fast time keeps ticking by.

All of us, except for Vincent who was working, went to mass with Nancy’s family and Vinnie’s mom. We sat in the front row and Wendy DeForge joined us!!

This mass was for the Feast of the Epiphany.  The three kings gave Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  According to Fr. Dave (and I confirmed it with Wikipedia!!), spiritually speaking, gold was a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) was a symbol of priestship, and myrrh (an embalming oil) was a symbol of death. Sometimes this is described more generally as gold symbolizing virtue, frankincense symbolizing prayer, and myrrh symbolizing suffering.

Virtue, Prayer, and Suffering….must be some of the keys to life!!

During the homily, Fr. Dave challenged us to think about the “best gift we ever received or gave”.

My mind hurried back to Christmas day when I gave Stephanie and Anthony handmade needlepoint stockings, I gave Melissa plenty of  art canvasses, to  Kevin I gave a new quilt and pillows and Vincent received the Hungry, Hungry Hippo game he had requested for his dorm suite! The kings’ gifts obviously had a deeper meaning than the gifts I gave to my children for Christmas. My gifts were nowhere near as fancy as gold, frankincense and myrrh, but, nevertheless, each of those gifts were wrapped in a whole lot of love and big dreams for my children. The deeper meaning of my gifts will hopefully bring true joy to each of them. For Steph and Anthony, the stockings will hopefully lay a foundation of love as the newlyweds enjoyed their first Christmas in their own home, the art canvasses will hopefully inspire Melissa to push herself to the Art World she dreams of, Kevin hopefully knows that he is blessed with many “comforts of home”, yet realizes he must fly this coop soon!!, and my hope for Vincent is that he will enjoy hours of fun with his friends as they all cross over from childhood to manhood in a college dorm room together with laughter and support!

As far as the best gifts I have ever received? It has to be my family – in the largest sense of the word! From my own kids, to Vinnie, to my siblings and parents, to Vinnie’s siblings and parents, to Wendy (as she sat beside me during Mass) and her family, who have become my sisters and brother, to friends who are welcome in my home and those who welcome me into theirs! This extended family – one with limitless boundaries – truly is the best gift I could have ever received in this life.

To me this gift of family is more precious than gold, frankincense, and myrrh!



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