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Monday, January 4, 2010

Gold, Frankincense, and all that stuff-An Epiphany reflection

This past Sunday we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany, a feast originally celebrated on January 6, but now moved to the nearest Sunday. What are we to make of this well known story in our modern age. I find it helpful to dwell not on questions such as "What really happened?", but on the deeper meaning of this account, and how we in the 21st century can apply it to our lives. To me there are two challenges of this feast.

The first thing is the famous star. The star is a symbol of light. The magi (and the scriptures don't say how many there were) were drawn to light, not only the light in the sky, but the light who was Christ. Do we today seek the light?, The Light? It's easy for people of faith to say yes. The problem is that we so often focus on the darkness. There is indeed plenty of darkness out there and all around us--war, terrorism, heinous crimes, lack of disrespect for life, corrupt politics, etc. While we should not have our head in the sand and make believe that these things are not there we need to look to the One who is Light of Light to nourish us and guide us in difficult times, to send us light to show us the way. Without this focus we can so easily fall into the cynicism which is one of the great "poisons" of our culture today.

The second challenge is to be bearers of the Light that we follow. Whenever we bring love, forgiveness, healing and peace to others, whenever we strive to do justice where injustice prevails the Light Of Christ shines through us and draws others to him. Those who bear the Light might not be great in numbers, certainly not a majority of the world population, but the Light we bear is powerful and that is what makes the difference.

A Happy Epiphany or "little Christmas" to all

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