My original cover art and column both for this week’s parish bulletin
Dear Followers of Jesus,
Matthew’s gospel (2:1-12) invites us into a very well known story known from our childhood. However, this story is anything but childish when it comes to our spiritual lives. Let’s look at this story from an adult spiritual viewpoint.
The magi received word that a king was born. Herod was threatened about this new king. The magi followed their instincts and the star to the place where Jesus was born. What they found was a king with his mother, Mary. The newborn king was poor. He was different and their lavish gifts seemed worthless in the sight of Jesus.
The search for Jesus is still important for us. I spoke many times during Advent that we are all searching for Jesus. I believe this with my whole heart. We may not even understand for ourselves what this means. As adults, we must find the reasons why we believe in God. We cannot let our faith slip into sentimentality or childishness. The story of the Epiphany guides us to who Jesus really is. God of all eternity is born to be accessible to every human being. Our searching leads us to the child, who is Jesus, our Messiah. Our search for Christ is ongoing.
Our search must be endless and life-long. We cannot love until we find that we love with God. We cannot forgive until we understand that we forgive only with God’s grace. We cannot understand our life direction until we cooperate with Jesus’ call and challenge to follow him, from his manger to his cross.
“Epiphany” means the manifestation of God. We are all drawn to the Light of God. We are all drawn from darkness of sin, doubt, despair and hardship to the beauty of God’s grace and fidelity. The manifestation of God is still being made new within us! This is such a beautiful and magnificent concept. We are still part of God’s plan. So often these feasts of Christmas are lost to us adults because we think that Christmas is for children. This could not be farther from the truth. We are connected to God in baptism. Christmas invites us to live our giftedness in the world as children of the Light.
We all receive gifts from God. However, we all give gifts to God. These gifts are not gold, frankincense and myrrh but all the richness and talents that we have to make God known, loved and served in our world. I hope that you will reflect on this beautiful feast of the Epiphany in this coming week.
What am I searching for in my life? What gifts do I bring to Jesus in this Christmas season? How can I learn to make manifest the gifts of love, tenderness and hope to all people, especially people in poverty, in hunger and in various human needs?
Follow the star and know the place of Jesus in your own life,