the shortest distance is between
Throughout the year, we celebrate Christ in His mysteries, in the moments of His life. These are events that nourish us through Scripture as things already done and that continue to challenge us through living them anew year after year. In Christ’s manifestation, His Epiphany, there are three moments that we celebrate: first, the arrival and veneration of the Magi; second, the baptism of Christ and the signs that accompany it; third, the wedding feast of Cana.
This weekend, the dove descends on Jesus and the voice from heaven is heard as St. John pours the water over his cousin. Not only is it Jesus’s epiphany, but that of the Trinity, with St. John witnessing it all.
St. John had been looking to the horizon for a long time, waiting for someone to appear. Many came for his baptism, but only came to him who prompted his response: “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
Bring the three manifestations of Christ to prayer! In the episode with the Magi, Jesus comes as king, God, and mortal infant. In the episode of His baptism, Jesus is favored of God, God, and Lamb of God. In the episode of the wedding feast, Jesus is teacher, God, and guest.
More explicitly: at the adoration of the Magi, Jesus is shown as king because of the gold, God because of the incense, mortal because of the myrrh. At the baptism, Jesus is shown as favored of God because that is how He is called by the voice from Heaven, God because of the manifestation of the whole Trinity through the symbolic form of the Holy Spirit in the bird and the heavenly voice of the Father, and Lamb of God because that is how St. John saw Him, a holy offering to the same Trinity. At the wedding feast, Jesus is shown as teacher by His mother’s command, as God because He is a wonderworker, and a guest come to enjoy a wedding.
Nothing in the world is exactly as it appears at the first glance. And our Lord Jesus, in all His mysteries, is a rich source of spiritual nourishment. For us, then, how do we see Jesus? Do we love and worship the whole mystery, or only just a portion? Even just the love of Jesus is richer and truer than any other thing in the world.
And Christ is a guest--our guest. When we welcome a guest we never put demands on them, especially if they are good friends. Throughout the year, we must welcome Christ into all parts of our lives, fully and without hesitation.
Our religion, our relationship with Christ in His mysteries, is a rich and wonderful thing. As your pastor, I invite you to stay with the mysteries of Christ in this time after Epiphany, and to love Jesus, and to know Him more. Let’s keep talking, and loving, and learning. Because in Christ’s mysteries, there is always much, much more beyond.