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Contents: Volume 2 - The Epiphany of the Lord -A- January 5 , 2020


 

  The

  EPIPHANY

  of

  the Lord

1. -- Lanie LeBlanc OP

2. -- Carol & Dennis Keller

3. --

4. -- (Your reflection can be here!)

 

 

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1.

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The Epiphany of the Lord 2020

Just as in days of old when the magi set out to search for the Christ Child, the wise still seek Jesus. The wise still seek the Light of truth mentioned in today's reading from the book of Isaiah. The wise still believe in the promises of our God and the stewardship of grace as written in the Letter to the Ephesians.

As the first few days of the new year and decade unfold, it is a good time to ask ourselves how wise we really are! Do we allow ourselves to be drawn in to the whirlwind of all that comes our way, or do we shield ourselves from the negative onslaught of so much collateral noise that our modern world presents to us? Becoming wise and staying wise is a matter of choice! We must decide to do ONLY the things that help us maintain the type of life the Lord has asked us to live, one marked by peace and grace.

While we may not have actually chosen the challenges that come with our family, our workplace, our neighborhood, or our parish, (don't even think about the political arena), we do have a choice in how we react to the relationships they bring. We can prepare ourselves through prayer to demonstrate the virtues encouraged in last week's reading (Colossians 3) for the Feast of the Holy Family. We can heed our inner voice, fortified by prayer, and live "another way", a way that is evidenced by a change of heart after being graced by the presence of the Christ in our lives, as did the magi.

Blessings,

Dr. Lanie LeBlanc OP

Southern Dominican Laity

lanie@leblanc.one

 

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2.

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GIFT-GIVING: FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY A

At Christmas time we give presents to particular people. They give gifts us. What's it all about? It all goes back to the story of the three wise men going to Bethlehem, falling down on their knees, and offering the best gifts they could afford to the Baby King.

Our gift-giving may sometimes be aimed more at keeping on side and keeping the peace than anything else. Our gift-giving may at times be part of the commercialisation of Christmas instead of expressions of unconditional love.

In contrast, the wise men are completely single-minded and sincere in their gift-giving. Their gifts are expressions of their respect, reverence, gratitude and love for the child. Their gifts are given with no strings attached, no conditions, and no mixed motives.

The flaws in our gift-giving may make us feel that the whole business of exchanging Christmas gifts should be gradually abolished, and that the commercialization of Christmas should be restrained and restricted.

If and when we think such thoughts, it may help to remember that the commercialization of Christmas is somewhat necessary. Were it a completely spiritual celebration, hundreds of small businesses would go to the wall. Thousands of factory workers making bon-bons, trees, chocolates, decorations, cards and toys, would find themselves unemployed.

It may also be helpful to remember that if people did not spend money on gifts to family and friends at Christmas, their consciences would not be roused to make donations to the poor and needy at this time of giving and sharing. (Many charities, in fact, experience a boost at Christmas time).

Despite the limits and flaws in our gift-giving, it is important both to keep the practice alive and to purify it of its worst excesses. It's particularly important to the lives of children. The good news is that while they are attracted to receiving e.g., a gift of shiny new roller-blades, they are also attracted to the Crib and to the story of the baby lying there. Their hearts are touched by the plight of his parents who are so poor that they can offer him nothing but their protection and affection. In fact, children very easily get the message that this is a story of love. They appreciate the humanity of the Holy Family, their struggles and their sacrifices, to bring to the human race the Light of the Nations.

The story of the visit to the Crib by the Wise Men is a story of giving and receiving. But it is not simply about the giving of things - in this case gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It speaks of how gifts express love between persons, and of how gifts given with love bind people together.

In celebrating Epiphany we are celebrating the greatest manifestation and gift that there has ever been, that of God's love for us. For it was out of love, that God the Father gave us the Son, and gave him to be our Light, our Saviour, our King and our Joy.

Jesus, then, is the celebrity we are celebrating at this time. He is the reason for the season, the Twelve Days of Christmas, that began on Christmas Eve. So, as a beautiful carol puts it: ‘JOY, JOY, FOR CHRIST IS BORN, THE BABE, THE SON OF MARY!’

As our Eucharist continues then, I suggest that we make a special point of giving thanks for the coming of Jesus Christ into our lives. May we acknowledge with sincerity that he is the most precious gift we have ever received! May we also in return renew the gift of our whole lives to God!

"Brian Gleeson CP" <bgleesoncp@gmail.com>

 

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4.

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Volume 2 is for you. Your thoughts, reflections, and insights on the next Sundays readings can influence the preaching you hear. Send them to preacherexchange@att.net.  Deadline is Wednesday Noon. Include your Name, and Email Address.

-- Fr. John


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Volume II Archive

We keep up to six articles in this archive.  The latest is always listed first.

2nd SUNDAY Baptism of the Lord EPIPHANY Mary Mother of God Christmas/Holy Family ADVENT 4


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