Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Epiphany of the Lord

"The Magi thanked King Herod, bowed and left his presence. The captain of their guard assembled the men and they started for Bethlehem. As soon as they left the palace grounds and went through the western gate of the city, the star shone again - even though it was daylight. Tears streamed down their faces and their lips moved silently in prayerful thanks. It was not a fools' journey after all! God was just trying their faith, making it stronger through trials. The pressure of joy on their hearts almost hurt. It was no trial to them then when the sstar led to a little one-room house; no scandal to their great faith when they saw in the doorway a simple carpenter, with shavings of wood on his apron, and a little girl mother with her baby in her arms! The star was there. It was enough. At a signal their guard of honor dismounted and formed a double line to the little doorway. Mary and Joseph withdrew into the house. The Magi came in with their gifts. They were enthralled by her beauty and gracious simplicity as she made them welcome. They offered their gifts, and then falling down on their knees, they adored!

O my King, what a beautiful scene to see those great men on their knees before You! They didn't kneel before Herod for all his trappings of wealth and majesty. But they knelt before You in that simple, unadorned little room. 'Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that are not seen.'  They now had the substance because they had You. Their faith was the evidence. (...) Faith made them find You.

Dear Master, faith is a light. With it I can see in the darkness of doubt, scepticism, cynicism and sorrow. Increase my faith; make bright my lamp that I may see. Let me be like the Magi and never be scandalized by appearances! Let me see and love You in the Eucharist, see and embrace You in the Sacrament of the present moment, see and praise You in the beauties of nature and persons. Let me see and love You in the sorrows and the joys that come my way!"

-- My Meditation on the Gospel by Fr James E Sullivan

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