Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. (Is. 60:5)

Today the church celebrates the completion of the magi’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem; at least, the Irish church celebrates it today, even if it is moved to Sunday in the States. Appropriately enough, Jess and I have just returned home from a whirlwind pilgrimage to Italy.  We didn’t ride camels, but it seems like we took every other mode of transportation! We surely witnessed innumerable works of art and architecture dedicated to the glory of the Lord in the churches of Milan, Cinque Terre, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Siena, and Venice. We followed Jess’s detailed itinerary (and sometimes Christmas lights) rather than a star, and we found the Christ child in crèches everywhere we went (including one on top of a McDonald’s and one in a tub of gelato, not to mention in the numerous churches and town squares we visited).

It was a wonderful trip, but we are ready to get back to life in Clonard. Tonight we’ll start back with the Folk Group, and this weekend we are back doing music for Masses. Jess and I will return to the Family Liturgy Group on Wednesday. We’ll continue to attend the Clonard Youth Club meetings on Thursday nights. Next week also holds our first ACE Mass of 2012, and we begin in earnest our planning for Confirmation retreats. They are right around the corner!