Feast of the Epiphany

“Tis the season” of beautifully wrapped boxes encasing treasures specially chosen by the givers. They are meant to express
many things, above all love, but also friendship, forgiveness for perceived failures, or just plain joy for the present and the future.

“Tis the season” for receiving gifts, presumably given by loved ones or recent acquaintances, or even perhaps a co-worker from the wider reaches of our “people circle” wishing to acquire or strengthen a relationship. Or they may be expressions of thanks for favors received.

“Tis the season” of a brand new year, its number 2020 often used to define perfect eyesight, thereby giving a hint that this may be the perfect year to look for a “new vision” to permeate our outlook.

“Tis the season” of Winter’s apex, when ever so slowly the daylight lasts longer with each new day, call- ing for us to live the hope we invest in Spring.

“Tis the season” above all to recognize that Jesus Christ is Himself our greatest gift. His unchanging love for us is no prisoner of time or whim. He is “the Light of the World” for all men and women anywhere and every- where.

“Tis the season,” finally, of Epiphany, which is Christmas for many Eastern Christians. That marks the time when Christ burst out of the confines of a Bethlehem stable to be a Gift, beautifully wrapped but eager to be opened for all nations.

All of this expanded meaning for the season underscores why we love it as being so special. True, it shakes us up a bit, especially if we have commercialized it, or limited its invitation to love God and our neighbor, or unconsciously made our Christianity into some kind of private possession, not to be shared with people who don’t look like us or speak our language. It tells us each year that we share this blue ball we live in with billions of others, all created by the one God and Father. There are no strangers here.

The poets of our world have a way of stating the truth that makes us pause and rehearse their words with our inner ears. We need them more desperately than we sometimes acknowledge. They open us up on this Epiphany day so that we can ponder and grow.

Here is one of them with the lilting name of Edna St. Vincent Mil- lay. This is what she wrote:
“The world stands out on either side, No wider than the heart is wide. Above the world is stretched the sky, No higher than the soul is high.”

Peace to you and yours this New Year of the Lord 2020!