In Italy today is the day of "Befana" a bent old lady who brings gifts to good children and chunks of coal to those who were not so good. It is a day for gift giving in many countries. Epiphany means a manifestation -- a showing, a sort of revelation. In the liturgy of the Epiphany Jesus is coming among all of us, since the Wise Men came not from Israel but from other nations. In the past, this was a day of sending forth missionaries to manifest the Good News of Jesus to all the world.
The Wise Men or Magi brought Jesus gifts of gold for a king; frankincense to worship the king; and myrrh to embalm the king who would die for all of us. Myrrh is also a sign of sacrifice. The Little King whom the Magi adored would become the Lamb of God sacrificed for all. One of the hymns used at the close of the Mass we attended today had the word manifestation in every verse at least once. If someone had missed the homily or the gospel, that song would have jogged their memory!
As our Founder, Blessed James Alberione said, It was left to our generation to be able to truly proclaim the gospel "From the housetops", from broadcasts,to film, to iPods, and the Internet. Using the media for God is a contemporary daily Epiphany.
Of course, each of us is called to be -- in our own way -- an "Epiphany" of Christ to those around us.
Has anyone ever barged into your world with a big smile, perhaps with a small gift, and a few good words? For me, that kind of person is a real Epiphany of the presence of Christ among us. Or, maybe someone has confided to you that they are going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, they are going to read a special good book...in other words, they are working on a deeper relationship with God. I ma privileged to know people like this, and they are for me real manifestations,little epiphanies on overcast winter days. May your week be filled with many such epiphanies.
I ask you all to pray for the people in Kenya, that a lasting and just peace will come about in that country. Pray for our Sisters who are there--many are novices from all over Africa. Pray too for the situation in Pakistan. We have a numerous group of mostly young Daughters of St. Paul in the major cities there, who may be at risk.
Thanks to all of you who read this blog. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.