As our celebration of Christmas continues, today we celebrate the great feast of The Epiphany of the Lord. Our Catholic way of life is one in which we live in grateful response to God’s countless epiphanies in our lives. I am so grateful to everyone who made our Christmas celebrations so beautiful. So many people contributed, from our hard-working office staff, to those who decorated the church, sang in our choirs, directed traffic, and made all of our visitors feel welcome! Thank you all so much!
Our Gospel passage today, from Saint Matthew, has much to teach us about gratitude, through the actions of the magi. The magi were watching for epiphanies of God’s presence in their lives. “We have seen the star at its rising,” they say. They were keenly aware of the “star” of God’s presence and His gifts in their lives. It is this awareness that fills them with gratitude and the desire to both worship God and share His gifts with others.
The magi, upon seeing the epiphany of God’s presence in their lives, “were overjoyed.” We too, who live with the awareness of God’s presence and gifts to us, simply can’t help but be filled with joy. Not necessarily the fleeting and superficial kind of joy the world promises through wealth or power, but rather the deep, unalterable joy only God can give right here at our parish, at every Mass we celebrate.
The magi were so filled with awe upon finding the newborn Jesus, they prostrated themselves before him and “opened their treasures and offered him gifts.” This is precisely why we, too, generously share our material gifts — as a loving act of worship to an extravagantly loving God. Thank you for your generosity this Christmas Season and every Sunday!
Let us rejoice in God’s epiphanies in our lives and be watchful for the new ways He is calling us to share ourselves and our gifts in gratitude to our King in the new year ahead!
Rev. Mark Zacker