Epiphany of the Lord….
As I reflect on this very special season of the year, there are many reasons to be thankful. Considering all of the miracles in life to be witnessed, from birth until our passing, only serves to strengthen my belief in God and Jesus Christ. How lucky we are as Christians to have a God who loves us!
The miracle that comes to mind this time of year is the promise of the word made flesh, the birth of Christ Jesus! Mary gave birth to Jesus in the manger, while the Shepherds of Bethlehem were called to bear witness to this miracle of Christ’s birth. The Magi also heard the call and took course following the Christmas star across the desert, leading the way for us all to this baby born to be the savior, our salvation! When you consider the faith required to make a trip like they did at that time, it is nothing short of a miracle. Just as miraculous to me was their choice to not tell King Herod the location of Mary and Jesus, having been warned in a dream not to. To disobey someone as powerful as Herod would require faith that many had not known, but upon seeing baby Jesus with their own eyes, I am sure the Magi knew their choice to go away without alerting Herod was the right choice. Their faith in what they had witnessed in Jesus and the love they felt for this baby born to save, gave them the conviction to be strong, as it does for each of us today. Their symbolic gifts of gold represented his royal standing: frankincense his divine birth; and myrrh his mortality. Wise men they were indeed.
Another of the events celebrated in the Epiphany is the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. By being baptized, he showed each of us that no matter how holy one may be, no person is without sin, without the need for redemption. Each of us will sin, for the flesh is weak. But we have a God who is loving and forgiving, and for this reason we can be saved from sin. Baptism is the first of many sacraments made possible to us through Jesus to remove all original sin we possess at birth. I love to watch Baptisms during Mass, and the calling on the Saints for their blessings is a feeling that is very real to me.
So, as we consider Epiphany this week, we should all consider the blessings the good Lord has given each of us in our lives and give thanks.
God Bless you all..
Tom & Julie Hoodjer