WITH ST. MARY'S
THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
God does the unexpected for us.
The Liturgical Calendar ends with the celebration of the Feast of Christ the King, recognizing that in the end, Christ ultimately triumphs over sin and death and establishes his glory throughout all of creation. When the Liturgical Calendar begins again, we move into the season of Advent, preparing for the coming of Christ as a child born into a human world. There is literally nothing more humble or vulnerable than a newborn baby, especially one born into poverty like Christ. In this state of humility, it’s difficult to recognize his glory and divinity, yet over a month later, we are now celebrating and remembering that there were other rulers with power of their own who came to adore the Christchild and to recognize his power over all the world.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
This Sunday, we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord, when magi came to Bethlehem from the East to offer Christ gifts fit for a king. By all accounts, these magi were individuals who had tremendous authority and influence in their own distant lands. Considering the amount of energy, resources, and time they put into seeking after the Christchild, the predicted coming of this newborn king of the Jews must have been read in the stars by them and their people long before Christ’s actual birth. We can imagine the surprise that they must have felt upon arriving in Jerusalem and discovering that the current king was unaware of such a birth. They must have been even more surprised to discover that the star which led them to the newborn king was indicating the child in a feeding trough for animals in a cave outside the comforts of the city. The Magi teach us a valuable lesson here: for generations, they and their people were preparing for the birth of the king of kings. When the time arrived, they dedicated themselves to travel great distances to find him. When every indication they had pointed to someone unexpected, they changed their expectations rather than reject the possibility of a humble child being this promised king. How often do we ignore what God offers to us because it is not what we expected? How many people became complicit in the death of Christ because he was not who they expected? This was never an issue for the Magi; instead, they trusted in what they knew were proper calculations and genuine signs from God. They offered this poor and humble newborn gifts fit for a king anyway - gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold for an earthly king, Frankincense for a priest who will offer the ultimate sacrifice, and Myrrh for the one who is anointed, the Prophet, the Messiah, the Christ. God will reveal Himself to you in unexpected ways. Do not ignore Him simply because it is not what you expected; rather, conform yourself to His method of communication, and you will be blessed with the gift of being called one of His own.
Family activity to do at home: In Catholicism, we commemorate many events with celebrations, such as Christmas and Easter. These are feasts worth celebrating, but they often commemorate an event that in itself was not necessarily a celebration. The Epiphany is different. When the Magi came from the East, they came with gifts for the sole purpose of celebrating the birth of the King of the Jews. This Feast is a celebration through and through, which means that we should be celebrating it with our families at home. End the Christmas season with one final celebration commemorating the Epiphany of the Lord. Below, you can find examples of family celebrations you can do with your own family on this wonderful Feast.