Lord's Epiphany (Note & Bulletin)

This week we celebrate the Feast of Epiphany.  With the visit of the three Wise Men from the East, the Church has traditionally understood this feast as meaning that the gift of Christ is not for one or a few particular peoples, but rather is for everyone.  In the early Christian community, there was a debate of whether or not the proclamation of Christ was only for the Jewish People or whether or not the proclamation could also be for others.  With St Paul the answer became clear – Christ is indeed for everyone.  In our world and lives today I don’t think any of us would argue that Christ is for some but not for others.  Rather we believe that God’s love and the grace of faith is not limited by geographical boundaries, the colour of one’s skin, or the language spoken.  This being so what then is the power of the Epiphany?  The challenge we face is to know in our hearts that while it is true, the gift of Christ is for everyone, this also means that the gift of Christ is for each of us personally.  It is hard for us to believe that the incarnation, the public life, the passion and resurrection, and the decent of the Holy Spirit are gifts given to each of us in our own particular lives.  We may say to ourselves that the gift of Jesus Christ is only for the Saints, it is not for the sinner like me.  Or that the gift of Christ is for those who pray a lot, or live the Christian life as we think it’s supposed to be lived.  We say to ourselves, it is for these people that Christ was born; it is for these people that Christ died and rose from the dead.  He is not for someone like me. Despite our feelings of our unworthiness of Christ in the first reading, the Prophet Isaiah writes:  “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”  It seems to me that Isaiah is speaking both about the People of Israel and each of us personally.  It is to believe and know within our heart that indeed God’s love in Christ has come to us.  As we live our lives with the struggle we feel within ourselves of being worthy of God’s love or of being presentable to him, we can know that God’s will is for God to come to each of us.  And this means something.  It means that no matter what is going on within our lives, what has happened or is happening, the love of the Father in Jesus Christ is given to each of us.  If God is all powerful and God is love then it must mean that his love is all powerful, that is, it knows no limits.  So even if we all have our time of temptation, of sinfulness, of tripping and falling, this does not mean that God’s love is withheld, that it is somehow redirected to others of greater worthiness.  Our worthiness is not achieved through a culmination of good actions, but is instead a free gift from God arising from who we are to God.  Our worthiness is from the truth that in Christ God has made us his sons and daughters.  And if sons and daughters, then surely God’s love is for each of us.  As St Paul wrote, we “have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.”  The life of a Christian is a life of profound rejoicing.  It is a rejoicing that we are the children of the Father, it is a rejoicing in the knowledge that his love is never removed or even lessened by our mistakes but that his faithful love is eternal.  Sometimes we may think that Christ is not for us or with us, that we sort of have been put in the penalty box.  On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, we know that we cannot be separated from him, because he will not allow it.  If he is always our Father, than we are always his children.  The gift of the Father’s love in Christ is not just for a few, but is for everyone.  That means he is for you.  

God Bless, and Take Care!

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Weekly Parish Bulletin412.97 KB

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