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NORWALK. To celebrate the Epiphany mass, known as the three kings’ visit to the newborn Jesus, Saint Joseph’s church located one block from the city’s police station received a live picture of the Three Wise Men on Sunday noon mass, impersonated by uniformed officers, who later handed out toys to children in the South Norwalk neighborhood.
Monsignor Aniceto Villamide, the first Vicar for Hispanic Affairs at the Dioceses of Bridgeport, was invited to celebrate the homily. As the main door opened, the monsignor’s assistants and the Three Wise Men entered in procession, causing adults and children to be moved at the sight of them.
Lieutenant Joe Dinho and officers Felipe Taborda and Héctor Delgado, dressed in warm-colored tunics and velvet crowns, impersonated the kings: Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar, who, upon reaching the High Altar, knelt in front of the manger for Child Jesus, just as the Bible narrates. Bishop Villamide immediately seated them in the front row and proceeded the manifestation, known as epiphany, when the Child God was born.
“All the peoples of the earth will prostrate themselves before you, Lord, so that your people may rule with justice,” was read out loud as part of the first reading, followed by Juan David Corrales, a musician from Colombia playing the pipe organ who sang the phrase: “Hallelujah!, The Child God has been born. We have seen a star born from him and we have come to adore the child God ”. Later, Bishop Villamide proclaimed the gospel according to Saint Matthew. “…Having been born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the time of Herod, some wise men appeared saying: we have come to adore him. When the king found out, he was shocked…”. After reading the Gospel, the Monsignor in his preaching said that the Christmas cycle closes with the remembrance of the Epiphany in the well-known Feast of the Three Kings– when into the world a God is born as a human, to his mother Maria.
According to Monsignor, when the star appears to the three wise men; according to the gospel of Saint Matthew, these three men represent humanity in its oriental, white and brown origins. “The three men see faith in the star. They are not only content to see the star that guides them, but they follow it on the road. That is a first aspect of faith: getting on the road!” said the bishop.
“The second aspect of faith is when at one point the star disappears and the magicians start looking for it. So, when faith falters, you have to look for it. You have to ask! Magicians are used to investigating and that’s why they go out to ask”.
The third moment of faith is when the lie enters. The moment in which Herod deceives the wise men by telling them that when they find the King, to come and tell him so that he can go and worship him. At that moment, Monsignor Villamide says, the trap of faith that we found along the way begins and in that search they are going to find traps and lies, just as Herod did when he told the kings that her would go visit him, although his intentions were to kill him. That is why Villamide explained: “He who seeks finds. The star disappears throughout our lives in many ways; through the scandals that exist in families, or when they lose their job. That produces darkness, but we must not be discouraged in the face of difficulties. Faith requires searching and when we search for the star, faith appears again, ”he said.
As the bishop offered the homily, Martín Aguilar, a native of Mexico who has lived in Norwalk for 15 years, was on the steps of the church. He was waiting for his two little children to arrive so they could see the three wise men. “We already came to the ten o’clock mass, but I want my children to see the kings because it’s nice to preserve our traditions and teach our children that the Three Wise Men bring joy, hope and also gifts,” he said.
As they left the church in procession, the three Wise Men, personified by officers from the Norwalk Police Department, went to the Side by Side school gym, where they gave our toys for children toys, as part of a community project that was formerly carried out by officer César Ramírez. Upon his death, officer Héctor Delgado took over as part of the activities of the “Community Policing Division”.
According to Joe Dinho, a spokesman for the Norwalk Police, who was also one of the three kings, stated that “Since November, officer Delgado organizes a day known as “Stuff-A-Cruiser” where police officers and cadets park at a Walmart parking lot and begin to collect gifts that the general public buys in this store. These are distributed at the Christmas party on December 17 to an average of 150 children as well as at the feast of the Threw Kings, at Saint Joseph’s Church”.
By Maricarmen Godoy