Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
January 1 & 2, 2022
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary, his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
~ Luke 3:16
Brothers and Sisters,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ask yourself, what has motivated you to seek out Jesus? Now take a minute and remember any signs that have guided your faith journey? Though likely few of us can claim guideposts like a star leading us to a specific location or an angel announcing the presence of God, still we all experienced the divine or “God-winks” that have led us to Christ. Owning and sharing those experiences are crucial; remember, our faith stories might be the catalyst needed to inspire someone to begin their search to find Jesus. Now let’s consider how our very uniqueness ordained by God contributes to sharing our faith. For instance, if reason and intellectual pursuits have helped you see the beauty of God’s creation, science and philosophy might be the means to help another connect with their Creator. For those who value solid friendships and belonging to something bigger than themselves, welcoming them to join you in a community of disciples may be how they experience God’s warmth and compassion. And for those who have heard God asking them to join him in prayer, though a work in progress, share your daily prayer routines to encourage them to start their personal daily prayer habit. Regardless of the gifts, God inspires you to use; the point is to step out in faith and use them! Thank you to all of you whom I have seen do as such. Your witness to Jesus is inspirational — thank you!
However, our path to the Lord has been made clear; the Gospel reminds us of the proper posture of reverence when we find ourselves with God. While the Church only formally incorporates the prayer of prostration (by which one lays face down on the floor in a posture of surrender) at ordinations and on Good Friday. This stature may be a good prayer experience to take in the privacy of our homes, as we offer the entirety of ourselves to our Lord in the New Year. As with the magi, lay before the Lord your gifts and your whole selves.
Likewise, on the Feast of the Epiphany, Catholic families customarily offer a prayer of blessing for their homes. A format is available on our website for you to use (www.olphparish.org/epiphany-blessing). I also encourage your prayers for Fr. Anthony, who spends this month at home with his family in Nigeria. In addition to visiting with family, Fr. Anthony uses his annual travel to help supply food for about 50 families. Thanks to your generosity in our poor box, the parish sent him $5,000 to support these missionary efforts.
May the Lord bless you and your families this new year with abundant graces and lasting joy!
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett