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Jan 6

Written by:
1/6/2019 12:00 AM  RssIcon

Epiphany, a manifestation, an appearance, a recognition of something unseen. In the Church, it acknowledges another visitation, not Mary to Elizabeth, but three wise ‘sages’ from the East who come to offer gifts to the new born King of the Jews.

Throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons, it seems that every day is filled with rich imagery and meaning, so much to contemplate and unpack…

We know so little about who these ‘visitors from afar’ were. Magi, Shaman, Sages; at the least we can say that they were astrologers, as they recognize the coming of Christ due to the appearance of a star. Much more than that, we cannot really say. Perhaps they were Persians, perhaps they were from as far as the Indian subcontinent; perhaps they were some sort of king or royalty from an Emirate far to the East; no one really knows. And we only presume there were three because that was the number of gifts presented, but that number is not found in Sacred Scripture. Yet, they came, however many they were!

I wonder if the shepherds were still with Mary and Joseph when they came and what they thought upon seeing this retinue of camels and dromedaries with these mysterious figures upon them.

I wonder when Mary was a little girl, did she ever dream of meeting figures such as these? What did her heart hold throughout the rest of her life as she continued to contemplate and reflect upon these events that we have celebrated over the last few weeks… What about Joseph and the thoughts racing through his mind, too.

So much to contemplate and so much to reflect upon throughout these days…

However, the real challenge that we face when we contemplate these mysteries is that they stay in the past, instead of bringing them into our present. When we imagine and pray over these mysteries, it is helpful to contemplate being in the midst of the events depicted so that we can see them also happening in our day-to-day life as well.

When we hear about the Magi coming from far away to bring gifts to Jesus, does that inspire us to go out of the way to present gifts to those in need? Are we able to recognize God’s activity in the world by the mere signs of the times as these sages did? Are we able to be moved by them as they were?

We immerse ourselves into the Biblical world view not to simply relive the past, but to continue to see God active in the present.

As we dive deeper into this New Year, as we ask Christ to bless our homes with His presence, as He blessed the home of Mary and Joseph; maybe we can all strive to look at the world through the view point of the Bible to allow God’s Word to come ever more into view. In so doing, we will be able to share our gifts generously and joyfully with all those around us.

God Bless and Happy New Year,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel

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Deacon Ron answers your questions.


Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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