Monday, January 4, 2010

Epiphany Vespers

Reading: Eph. 3:2-3a.5-6

What was made to known to the apostle by revelation is that the Gentiles, that is, non-Jewish people, have been made co-heirs, recipients of God's grace through Jesus Christ. This is the Gospel plain and simple: the promise made to Abraham that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed is fulfilled in Christ Jesus (Gen. 22:15-18).

The magi were non-Jewish people who travelled from afar to pay homage to the Christ child, thus acknowledging that is he is universal Lord, recognizing in him the revelation, the epiphany, of God in the flesh. Jesus is the epiphany. This is still made known by the Holy Spirit: Jesus Christ is not merely a way, but the Way. In him all things are made new; newness, renewal, being the effect of God's grace.

Christmas traditions are nice, even necessary, but they also run the risk of becoming a bit empty, a little ritualistic, making Christmas feel old, dusty, and a little time-worn. So, let us take this final week of Christmas, from today to next Sunday, the Baptism of the Lord, the first full week of this new year, and focus on the mystery of God made man for our sakes, for the sake of our salvation, in order to experience the newness, the goodness of life in Christ in order that we might realize, either for the first time or once again, that the mystery of life in Christ is not only that Christ can live in you, but the He wants to make of your heart His dwelling place.

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