The Epiphany of the Lord
3 January 2021
“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.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a joyful Feast of the Epiphany!
Who were the Magi, the central figures at the heart of today’s feast? Far from home, these exotic travelers were on a search to find the King of the Jews with only the light of a star arising from the East to guide them. As the famous hymn echos, we typically refer to these men as royalty or “Three Kings.” The bible also helps us establish the trio by the number of gifts they carried on their journey, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Likewise, the word magi’s Latin entomology lets us know these three weren’t on some random road trip. No, these men were educated, “Persian priests or wise men,” on an intentional search to find someone extraordinary — JESUS.
Some two-thousand years later, let’s ask ourselves, are we willing to step outside of the familiar and commit our lives to find our savior? Though we might not have a star to guide our quest, God in his goodness has offered us tangible signs and tools to show our path. For instance, the organic world and natural sciences all point back to our creator, with the “fingerprints” of Jesus visible in all its beauty. Likewise, philosophical and intellectual pursuits lead us to the Lord when, in humility, we discover that only the Salvation Story can make sense of our existence and offer purpose to our lives. But if I had any advice or “directions” to provide my fellow searchers with, it would be the following. Like in the days of the magi, our Lord Jesus will always dwell directly in our midst. Remember, Christ is with us when we decide to make a conscious decision to BELIEVE and learn about the life of Jesus by taking up scriptures or attending a group such as Discovering Christ. Our Lord is with us when we step outside of our comfort zone and go BEYOND in service by ministering to the neediest among us through the works of our Parish’s Salt and St. Vincent ministries. Christ walks beside us when in our pain; we reach out and ask for help, BECOMING healthier individuals. Friends, there is real healing waiting through the care and support found in OLPH’s Bereavement, Celebrate Recovery, and Stephen Ministry offerings. Perhaps the most life-affirming is when we meet Jesus in the spirit of another person, such as when we welcome others to BELONG. Like at parish events that celebrate all people’s dignity, such as Night to Shine, or when we invite a fellow neighbor to worship at OLPH. Though I will admit, our search to find Jesus is never complete. Still, I promise you this, our commitment to finding our Lord will be the only endeavor that genuinely will offer purpose to our existence, and that is a gift more valuable than gold, frankincense, and myrrh!
So friends, let us keep searching together as a parish and invite others to accompany us. The pursuit is worth the time (and the treasure!). And, moms and dads, be sure to take your kids along too. In that spirit, blessing your home in celebration of the Epiphany is a great first step.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
In the Child Jesus,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett