Pastor's Pen, Epiphany of The Lord

When I was in Jamaica there was a woman who lived near the church.  Every time she saw me, she would ask for a bit of money, for help.  Some days, towards the end of the month, when money was low, I have to admit that sometimes I would try and hide from her.  One day as I was trying to get out of my car and through the church gate as quickly as possible, she came running into our church parking lot saying “Father, Father.”  Before she could say anything more, I said, “I got nothin’, I’m broke.”  To my surprise she said she wasn’t asking for anything, but rather had come to give me a little gift.  This story reminds us that goodness and holiness is not limited by our expectations.  This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, in which Christ is made present to the Wise Men and, through them, to each of us. 

I remember while studying Philosophy that a characteristic of goodness is that it shares itself.  With the feast of the Epiphany it is most important that we understand in our hearts that God is not merely sharing himself with one particular people, but that God is sharing Godself with all people.  It seems that within God there is this absolute desire to share himself.  When we think of our faith or the practice of our religion, we often suppose that our primary task is to give worship and adoration to God, that we make the first move.  It seems, however, that it’s the other way around.  It was God who sent the star as a guide to the Wise Men.  In a sense it was God who first invited the Wise Men.  God’s invitation was not from a want to be worshiped and adored; rather it was to share the gift of his love in Christ and to share it with all.  

The Epiphany presents us with one invitation expressed through three tasks.  The first is that we seek to make our hearts more free and more open to receive the direct love of the Father – to allow the Father to love and to share himself with us even though we might not expect such a gift from God.  The second is to allow the goodness and holiness of those around us to be revealed.  We may have judgments and opinions of others, as I did of the woman in Jamaica, nevertheless, we always have to seek to try and allow others to reveal their goodness, their holiness, their gentleness and their beauty.  Lastly, we have to allow ourselves to reveal our God-given goodness and beauty.  

If Pentecost marks the birth of the Church, then Epiphany marks the first invitation to gather.  In our hearts God calls us to know the truth of our faith.  And the truth of our faith is that our God desires to share himself completely with every person.  We have expectations, opinions and judgments about ourselves, about others and about God.  Often times these things can limit the revelation and manifestation of God in our lives and in our world.  On the Feast of the Epiphany let us accept more the gift of God’s self.  On the Feast of the Epiphany, with peace in our hearts, let us share the gift of ourselves with God.

Take Care and Happy New Year!

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