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Sunday, January 29 was the fourth Sunday after epiphany and the last Sunday of this season. Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the gospel for the day, St. Matthew 8:1, in which Jesus heals both a leper and the servant of a Roman centurion. Thus the season of showing forth or manifestation – the meaning of epiphany – closes with two stories in which Jesus manifests both his authority and his power to heal. Both of the men healed were outsiders to the Jewish community, which shows Jesus’ authority is universal, and the centurion represents the authority of Rome, but Jesus’ authority comes from God and exceeds his.
We have been saddened by the death of Stephanie Connell’s mother, Helen Freeman of Norwood, who died January 22 at the age of 89. Friday evening I accompanied George and Rita Fancher to Mountain Grove where we attended the visitation at the Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home. The funeral was held Saturday, January 28 at 2:00 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of the Norwood School. Those attending from St. Francis besides myself were Fr. Glen and Laurie Hartley, Rita Fancher, and Leo and Carrie Compton. Helen was a remarkable woman who raised 15 children under hard conditions and she will be missed by everyone.
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