Happy New Year! I hope and pray that 2019 is a wonderful year for you, and I am looking forward to many blessings this year. Today’s Feast of the Epiphany involves the Wise Men coming to the Christ Child. But He is here for you and your loved ones. This is a wonderful way to set our compass for the coming year—to discover His Love for us, and how that can steer us to greater peace, joy, and purpose in the days, weeks and months to come.
When we say that someone has an “aha moment,” and epiphany, it is a way of saying we understand something better, that we have been enlightened. For the cultures of the world, individuals, families and societies are looking for something. The Jewish people sought the Messiah, the Greeks sought wisdom, the eastern religions sought enlightenment. We all look for these things.
Christ brings all these things to light and fulfillment; He brings us to a deeper understanding. Jesus receives the gifts of the Magi, John baptizes Him, and at the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus reveals a hint of the glory of heaven. We will celebrate forever, what we on earth only occasionally share in when we gather for baptisms and weddings.
When we have milestone moments in our life, it is often after the fact that we truly appreciate what we have received, and how much our benefactors have done for us. The magi didn’t know that they would be celebrated 2,000 years later for the gifts they brought. John the Baptizer didn’t appreciate that every baptism for countless souls, millions of people, would echo what he had done for Jesus. When the young couple in the country village of Cana invited Our Lady to their wedding, they had no idea they would be the launching point for the miracle that would begin Jesus’ ministry.
These significant people did not know their own significance. They didn’t realize that by bringing their gifts to Jesus, and inviting Him into their lives, that they would be receiving far greater gifts from Him in appreciation. His return to them would amaze them after their acts of loving kindness to Him. In Jesus, they—and we—can discover the fullness of everything they sought to do. The Lord Jesus would later say that even a cup of water given to someone in His name would not go unrewarded. But in the Christmas season, and in the celebration today of the Epiphany, God wishes to launch this new year with a rich reminder of the blessings He wants to share with us. Jesus is the heart of all our joy, even when we don’t know it! He wants you to discover how significant you are to Him, even when you don’t begin to realize it.
Whether you consider yourself a disciple like John the Baptist who knows Jesus is the coming Messiah, or you are the Magi searching for meaning and joy amidst the paths of your life, or perhaps you are like the young wedding couple, very busy with important things that celebrate life here and now, each one of us is looking for Jesus. And no matter where you are on the journey, today is revealed the fact that He has journeyed from Heaven to find you. Today once again we find Him. Let us celebrate that He will accompany us into the coming year.
In conclusion here is an excerpt from the poem “The Wise Men,” by G.K. Chesterton:
We are the three wise men of yore,
And we know all things but the truth.
We have gone round and round the hill
And lost the wood among the trees…
…The Child that played with moon and sun
Is playing with a little hay.
…Go humbly, humble are the skies,
And low and large and fierce the Star;
So very near the Manger lies
That we may travel far.
Hark! Laughter like a lion wakes
To roar to the resounding plain.
And the whole heaven shouts and shakes,
For God Himself is born again,
And we are little children walking
Through the snow and rain.
In Our Lady's Immaculate Heart,
Rev. Bjorn C. Lundberg