“Maintaining the desire of God in our hearts, and allowing the Lord to outline His Plan to us through the little things of life so that we can have an Epiphany Experience!”
(Based on Isa 60:1-6, Eph 3:2-3, 5-6 and Mt 2:1-12 – Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord)
A Parish priest was taking a group of his catechism children to a church, which was known to be a pilgrimage centre.
The children were very much excited seeing the new church, which was particularly famous for its glass paintings.
As they kids moved around the church, little Peter – all of 6 years and the smallest one of the group – suddenly gazed at a large glass painting and shouted:
“Wow! There is the Cross of Christ!
Do you see what I see?”
Seeing his excitement, the others also gathered to see the Glass Painting.
But they could see nothing of the Cross!
To them, the glass painting resembled only a jumbled mass of confusion
It was a modernistic glass picture composed of a maze of colours and shapes – sophisticated and abstract
But little Peter kept shouting: “Do you see what I see?”
The others kept nodding their heads in negation.
But Peter went on: “Can’t you see him? It’s Jesus hanging on the cross.”
The priest finally said: “Little Peter… maybe we are all blind.
But could you please… help us to see what you see?”
With all excitement, with his little finger, through the maze of shapes and colours…
… Peter outlined the Cross as he kept saying: “Do you see what I see?”
And then… like an Epiphany, they all saw JESUS…
… His Face
… His Arms outstretched on the Cross
As the image began to appear more clear!
And then with astonishment, the priest looking at little Peter and then the Cross of Christ, exclaimed: “This… is… Epiphany!”
When one longs with a great desire and looks with a clear intent, then we have the Epiphany of God!
Yes, the Lord makes Himself known to the one who desires and longs – sincerely, honestly and faithfully!
It is this deep desire and the wonderful manifestation of the Lord that we celebrate today, in the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.
The word “Epiphany”, means…
… appearance or manifestation or showing forth.
It is from the Greek word “Epiphaneia”
It refers to the first appearance of Jesus to the Gentiles.
This Feast of the Epiphany drives home a powerful message…
… and gives pointers to experience true joy and happiness in life.
The Magi teach us some vital clues towards finding the “Joy in Life”…
- WHAT do we seek?
The Magi from the East had just one purpose in their long journey: to meet the New Born King and pay Him homage and worship. (Mt 2:2)
(This was also in fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah: “And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising!” – Isa 60:3)
This single focus and dedication…
… Impelled them to move forward with determination
… Inspired them to overcome all hurdles
… Infused them with a hope that would taken them through their deep desire.
What about us?
What do we seek in life?
Is it for the Lord and His glory…?
… Or do we engage ourselves in activities for our own glory and pride?
Is the Lord the end and purpose of all our actions…?
… Or do worldly desires dilute our works and actions?
- WHERE do we seek?
The purposeful determination of the Magi made them to be focused on the Star – a sign to lead them to their destination ( Mt 2:2b)
As long as they followed the Star, they remained on the right track.
Of course, for a moment, seeing King Herod’s palace, they got a bit deviated as they reasoned out that the New Born King would be born in a palace!
But Divine Providence soon brought them back on track.
The star once again led them and they reached the Great King enthroned on the Wooden Throne of the Manger!
(pre-figuring the enthronement of the Lord, later, on the Wooden Throne of the Cross!)
What about us?
Where do we seek the Lord?
Do we faithfully follow the Star of inspiration, that the Lord constantly sends…
… Through His Commandments, Teachings of the Church, many people in our life and the situations of life
Do we seek His Love in the wonderful sacraments that the Church offers, encounter Him in the poor and the needy and experience His Providence in the situations of our life?
… Or do we get lost, in our search for the Divine, in the pleasures of this world, engage too much only in our works and material engagements or dip ourselves into the murky waters of sinful addictions, sly attachments and silly attractions.
- WHAT GIFTS do we offer Him?
The Gospel says that the Magi offered Baby Jesus, their precious gifts – fit and appropriate… (Mt 2:11b)
Gold for Jesus, the King
Frankincense for Jesus, the Priest
Myrrh for Jesus, the Prophet.
These gifts would have cost them a fortune…
… They also bore the marks of their sacrifice and pain
But they were gifts that were worthy and befitting the King!
What about us?
What gifts do we offer to the Lord?
In the Holy Mass…
Do we really offer Him our pains, struggles, our little sacrifices, our honest longings?
… or, has the Holy Mass become just a customary ritual, without we offering anything to Him and thus failing to derive any joy or consolation for this Precious Sacrament?
In our life…
Do we try to make some personal sacrifices…?
Take some radical decisions to live worthier Christian lives, and be more dedicated to pursue a life of holiness and sanctity…?
The Lord wishes, desires and deserves the best gifts from us.
He tells us to, above all, “offer our lives as a living sacrifice” (Rom 12: 1) – sinful, broken, wounded; just as we are…
… So that He can transform us, and make us a new creation (“Behold I make all things new – Rev 21:5)
The Feast of the Epiphany is a powerful invitation for us:
To examine, purify and strengthen…
… the focusses and priorities of our life.
Yes, like the Magi…
Let us seek the Lord deeper
Let us long for the Lord intensely in the right place
Let us desire for the Lord passionately, offering Him the best gifts of our life
Our life may sometimes resemble a jumbled mass of confusion
Like the modernistic glass pictures, we may often get lost in the maze of colours of uncertainty and shapes of difficulties – sophisticated and abstract!
But if we maintain the desire of God in our hearts, He will, through the little things of life…
… outline His Plan to us
… like an Epiphany, we will be able to see the Presence of God in our Lives!
May we all, thus, with astonishment and gratitude exclaim: “This is Epiphany!”
Happy Feast of the Epiphany!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
In case of grave necessity, recourse may be had to a communal celebration of reconciliation with general confession and general absolution.
Grave necessity of this sort can arise when there is imminent danger of death without sufficient time for the priest or priests to hear each penitent’s confession. (CCC # 1483)