Sunday, January 03, 2016

Made Known

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ*

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory.  Isaiah 60:1-3

You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.  Ephesians 3:2-3a

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.  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.  Matthew 2:9b-11a

The light of Christ shines in us as our piety.  The great saints make Christ real to their time and age by their piety shining out as the light of Christ found form and substance in the goodness of their lives.  Hopefully we are more than faint reflections of the glory of Christ.  We are created to the image and the likeness of Christ by our being created in his image.  All of us are reflections of the glory and the justice of God in Christ.  Christ is the fullness of God’s love made flesh and we are his reflection in the goodness of our lives. 

Epiphany literally it means open to or appear to. We all claim epiphanies in our lives at one time or another. It was a magic moment in my life when I learned with enough application of my mind, heart and soul I would do almost everything I set my heart on.

The Epiphany Feast today has a number of meanings for us. It refers to the one Lord including everyone in his good news. But it also implies the gifts that are given at Epiphany. Gold, gift to kingship, frankincense, symbol of prayer and myrrh, the anointment for death, are gifts that are prophetic. How this plays out in the life of the community gives the community the right to its name.

We all are following some star. There is a light that shines in the darkness of our hearts that is the call to worship our God. We are created for that worship of God. God is love and we are called to be men and women of love. The best of ourselves is the gift of gold we bring on this feast day. Our coming to worship is the frankincense of our prayer. What we have dedicated our lives to is the myrrh of the offering of ourselves.

The prophet tells the world what is wrong. Even tells the community what it needs to do. All the social outreach programs of the community are how it exercises the role of prophet. When our leadership of the community opens up another task to be done the prophet role is being fulfilled.

We study the road that would lead us to the glory of Christ.  His star shines out on our world in all the good people of our lives.  We become the light of Christ by our walking closer each day to Christ.  We discover him in each other’s refraction of the light of Christ.  He lives in our world by the victory of his Resurrection.  We bring a little bit of heaven to our world by the good we do in imitation of Christ and his saints.

Our first action is our response to the kingship of Christ.  God is honored in how we make Christ the king of our hearts.  The first question for each new day of our lives is a quick invitation to Christ to take over our hearts as the primary desire of all that we seek in life.  We give to Christ all the love of our hearts.  We need to love him with all our minds, hearts and souls.  There needs to be nothing we seek more than Christ.  Every created thing that could turn my heart away from Christ needs to be subjected to him. He is king when he is the first of our desires.  We reduce all of our desires to a gift of gold for him.  Thus he is our king in each moment of our day.  Each breath becomes our incense of adoration of his Godhead.  We make myrrh in our acknowledgement of the fragility of every human creation.  Our awareness of how nothing is forever makes forever of all creation in its passing to be one with God who was willing to be one with our fragility.  We make our effort to return all to the God who has given us his all in his Son. Naked we came into the world and naked we will go out in the myrrh we have made of all created things.  Christ, the gift of the Father’s love for us, becomes the gift of our love for God in our transformation into his love for the Father.

Originally Published on January 6, 2013

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