On the Road Together for January 6 & 7
For January 6 & 7, 2018
The Epiphany of the Lord
By Tracy Rodenborn
Director of RCIA
Last year, our family spent some time in France. Our first Mass in our temporary parish home was the Feast of the Epiphany. We quickly came to realize that this was a big feast in the Catholic Church in France. There were multiple choirs and instruments, there was a special procession of “kings”, each carried to the stable before the readings, and there was a huge celebration with king cake and festive drinks following Mass. Come to find out, the special Epiphany king cake, the
galette de rois
, was a special treat the whole month of January, only available that month in all the patisseries. Being newcomers, people from the parish quickly invited us over to the parish hall for the Epiphany celebration following Mass. It was a wonderful way for our family to be immediately welcomed into the parish. The Feast of the Epiphany looms large there and what a first introduction to the parish it was for our family.
The Feast of the Epiphany is a time to contemplate how Christ’s coming is for ALL! Our Gospel reading is from Matthew, a Gospel written primarily for a Jewish audience. And, at its very beginning here, we have foreigners, people from the East, the Orient, coming to find the Christ child and offering him gifts and homage – acknowledging that in him, God is revealed. Our second reading from Paul reiterates this theme of Christ coming for all – he says it has been revealed to him “that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph 3:6). The Feast of the Epiphany not only shows the divine manifestation of God in Jesus to everyone, including the Gentiles, it also shows the Gentiles acceptance of Jesus as well. Their “treasures” that they offer to the Christ child – gold, frankincense and myrrh – have traditionally come to signify Christ’s role as priest, prophet and king and the Gentiles proclaim Christ as such!
One detail in the Gospel that we may often miss is that the magi needed more than just the star to find Christ. They arrived in Jerusalem and had to ask where the newborn King of the Jews was. They also had to decipher between the trustworthy information and that from King Herod. They then took the information from the community (a prophecy from Micah about Jesus being born in Bethlehem) and the rising star again to find the exact location of the mother with child, the child that would indeed save the world.
We, too, need the community of faith to help lead us to the Christ child. On this Feast of the Epiphany, may we offer thanks and praise to the numerous ways others have led us to Christ! Maybe it is a person of faith who made a profound influence on us. Perhaps there was a special homily that really changed the way we saw the world. Or perhaps it was a time we received communion that really moved us or a conversation with a spiritual director that guided us. Maybe it was an adult education class or a conversation with someone from another faith tradition that led us to Christ. Maybe it was in volunteering to teach RE, or as a teen leading VBS, or someone invited us to Mass that did it. We all need help in finding the Christ child in our lives. Let us not be too shy to ask for or directions. Even the magi did!
Epiphany is this: Christ has come for all! That means that Christ has come for
. Like our new friends and community in France who welcomed us into their parish by their celebration of the Epiphany, may we too, not be too shy to
directions as well. May we bring others to our celebrations of this Good News, too!
Readings for Mass, January 6&7:
Thank you, Lord,
for the many ways
your Church, others,
and your creation
have led us to
Help us to lead
others there, too!
Sent by Beverly Aviles on Thursday, January 4 at 11:05AM