January 8, 2023
Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord, recalling the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem to see the meaning of the star that guided them to Jesus. The word ‘epiphany’ means ‘manifestation’ or ‘to ‘reveal.’ At this point in the Christmas story, we turn to St. Matthew’s Gospel. It is Matthew alone who gives us this part of our beloved Christmas story. Today’s first reading from late Isaiah gives us a hint as to what the Magi were searching to find as the prophet says, “Rise up in splendor…Your light has come…Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your radiant splendor.” The star came to rest over the place where Jesus was. He is the light which every nation on earth will come to adore. The Magi, who come from the East, often represented as three kings, represent those nations. They acknowledge Jesus as the Lights and present Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Each gift tells us who these learned men acknowledged Jesus to be, gold, a gift for a king, incense, a gift of adoration for God, and myrrh, a gift for anointing the body of someone important. As we journey this year we too are invited to present our gifts to Jesus. In the Christmas carol, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, we hear the following words:
“What can I give Him poor as I am? If I were a shepherd I would give a lamb. If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part. But what can I give Him? I give my heart.”
And that’s the best gift any of us can give to Him. Give it with gratitude and love.
With the feast of the Epiphany we come to the end of or Christmas Season. Next Sunday we return to Ordinary Time. In keeping with tradition, we invite parishioners to take home the Memorial Poinsettias this weekend. Feel free to take as many as you like whether you were part of our Memorial campaign or not. Our goal is to have ALL flowers gone by this weekend. We will also be taking down the Christmas decorations this weekend beginning at 2:00pm. If you are able to lend a hand for an hour, that will be grand. Decorations come down a lot faster than putting them up, especially if we have plenty of hands on deck.
Finally today, many thanks to everyone for your cards and prayers during my convalescence. It has been a humbling few weeks. The support of your prayers has been a tremendous blessing. I have a follow-up with the surgeon on Monday and so hopefully will have good news to share next weekend.
God Bless! Happy Epiphany!
Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.