The Epiphany of The Lord
Recognizing Jesus is not always an easy thing to accomplish. The magi “traveled afar” to find the newborn King, facing challenges and obstacles by Herod. We might think of their journey as a pilgrimage… it’s meant to be difficult, and it takes us out of the normal course of our lives. Those rare moments are helpful for us, but today’s observance of the Epiphany of the Lord (literally, a “manifestation”) invites us to look for and to recognize the presence of Jesus wherever we may find him. Sometimes there will be profound moments of encounter such as on a retreat or a pilgrimage, but we also need to pay attention to the ways in which Jesus manifests himself in more subtle or hidden ways.
As the Season of Christmas concludes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Monday (because of the way the calendar is ordered this year it is not observed on a Sunday), I want to express thanks to all who contribute to the beauty of the Liturgy during the course of the year, but especially in our celebrations this Christmas. Our Liturgy Committee works hard to organize and coordinate the efforts of all our liturgical ministers and volunteers, and the Liturgical Environment Committee faced particular challenges in the schedule to prepare the sanctuary for Christmas with little time after the final Mass of Advent on the morning of December 24. Our music ministers inspired us to sing praise to God throughout the season with joy and beauty. Special thanks to Dr. Lynn Trapp, Director of Liturgy and Music, for coordinating all these efforts and making sure that everything— and everyone— was in place.
This week we enter the Season known as “Ordinary Time.” When it comes to the working of God’s grace in our lives, there is nothing ordinary… there is always something wondrous about God’s presence and action at work in us. The name “ordinary” is not about “ordinariness,” but rather it refers to the numbering of the Sundays of the year: the “ordinal” weeks (perhaps the better title would be “Ordinal Time,” but that decision is well beyond my pay grade!). Nonetheless, think about the so-called ordinary events of your own life and see how the presence of Jesus in your life has been transformative. That’s how we find Jesus today!
God’s peace to you this week,