A Supermoon—A New Year, And Yet—A Catholic Tradition—ZZZZZZZZZ

By Matthew D. Ruhl, SJ
Wednesday/January 3, 2018/ Belize City, Belize

Happy 2018 to one and all. I spent the evening of New Year's Day with two friends on a verandah enjoying a dinner of lobster meat, cheese, crackers, and grapes with a glass of 16-year-old Lagavulin while watching the only supermoon of 2018 rise up big and beautiful out of the Caribbean. I am unaware of ever having a more delightful New Year's Day evening. Now it is on with the New Year.

 Photo Credit: Sebastian Ulbrich

Photo Credit: Sebastian Ulbrich

Our first funeral of the year has been scheduled for this Saturday. Statistically it is no surprise, but it is nonetheless disheartening to have the first funeral of the year be for a murder victim. Epiphany means Chalking the Doors. Likely you have seen front doors of homes with cryptic writing above. That is an Epiphany Tradition. Here's what it looks like: 20+C+M+B+18

And here is what it means. The 20 and the 18 are the year. CMB are the initials for the traditional names of the Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar. CMB also stands for the Latin, Christus Mansionem Benedicat, meaning “May Christ Bless this House.” And the crosses are just that, crosses. So go ahead, chalk your doors and as you do so simply pray, “Lord, bless this home and all within. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Once again, the recent bitter cold in the U.S. has descended on Belize as nighttime temperatures dip into the 60s. And, yes, it makes for luxuriant sleeping, quite necessary in recovering from the busy, bustling holidays and in preparing for the opening of school next week.