Epiphany Sunday (Note & Bulletin)

In the First Reading of this past Tuesday’s Mass there was a sentence from St John’s Epistle that I had never noticed before.  St John said that as Christians, we are to walk as Jesus walked.  When I think of the Christian life, I often think in terms of behaviour.  There are commandments in the Old Testament; the moral teachings of the Church; and our own customs to follow.  But St John seems to be saying something different, something more.  Being a disciple of the Lord is not primarily about following rules and instructions that are outside of us, rather is about living according to the life of Christ in an internal way.  What I mean by this is the invitation of God to make Christ’s life our own. 

With his nativity and incarnation, God has made our lives his own and through his grace we can make his life our own. We may wonder how this could ever be.  But I think the joy expressed in our readings this week give us a hint.  The Prophet Isaiah proclaimed “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”  In the Second Reading, St Paul writes how we “have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus.” And, in the Gospel, we hear how when the three wise men “saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.”  The joy of the Lord’s coming is the understanding in our hearts that God has taken up our life.  We can so often feel a great distance between ourselves and God, maybe even a distance that’s too big to ever be bridged.  But when the Father sent the Son to be born of Mary that distance, that gap, has been bridged by God.  This gift of the Lord Jesus is not just for some or the select few but it is for everyone.  And like the wise men who saw it and knew it, we are overwhelmed with joy.  

There are so many things in my life, in my heart, in my faith that I wish were different.  I wish I could be a better disciple of the Lord.  Yet, what is infinitely more important is that my life, all of our lives, with all their imperfections, is taken up in God’s love.  God does not wait for everything in our lives to be perfect; he takes it all up in his love now.  God has saved us and set us free.  As we come to know the incomprehensibility of his love, our hearts become light because our hearts rejoice.  And it is only through our knowing that he has taken up our lives in love that we can ever dare to make his life our own.  For me today, this is the epiphany – the revelation of the Father’s love in Christ Jesus – and the revelation, through that love, of our own identity.  We all desire to walk in light and not in darkness. We all desire to make our home in God’s kingdom.  The truth is just before us.  It is so clear and concrete and yet it is so hard for us to take hold of.  If we are to walk as he walked, to live in love as he lives in love, we want to be who God has made us to be.  We are children of the light; we are children of the Father.  And so, like the wise men, we are “overwhelmed with joy.”

God bless, and take care!

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