The Epiphany of the Lord
Introductory Note: Many of my reflections are taken from an essay I wrote for the American Benedictine Review’s annual writing contest. The theme I chose to write on was the glory of God at work in our life. I humbly pray my writing will contribute to your own prayer and meditation.
This is the first Sunday of the New Year! What a way to start off with Epiphany Sunday. This is a day of revealing. Think of the old saying that someone “has an Epiphany.” It means they come to realize something. One understands something or comes to know something on a deeper level. We come to know God more intimately through this celebration. How can we not give thanks for this great gift? The Epiphany is also a Theophany: we come to know God as revealed to us in the Scriptures. This is all the more important considering the state of things we see.
Right now there are also many challenges affecting the Church and the world. Family ties are increasingly strained in today’s society, and we will constantly encounter those who carry emotional wounds from these strains. To say there is a general apprehension about the future is an understatement to say the least. The human soul is hungry for God despite all this. All people have this longing even though the vast majority of souls do not know this or will not admit it.
The glory of God is subtle. (That sounds like an oxymoron, I know)! How can God have subtle glory? The same God who appeared to Abraham and Moses and all the ancient ancestors and the holy saints is also the same God who became incarnate for us in the small stable at Bethlehem. This loving God of ours is not always easy to find. We busybodies who inhabit the Earth are not always attuned to this quiet presence of God. A soul needs a particular desire and clarity of vision in order to find God’s glory. We can imitate those great wanderers, the three Magi, who came so far just to see the newborn king. They were willing to travel on a perilous journey just to meet Jesus. They came seeking God’s glory, and they eventually found it wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger at Bethlehem. Let us imitate their holy desire. Let us seek the glory of God on this Epiphany Sunday!
Reflection: A good confrere and college of mine, Br. Cyprian, often tells people to “stop, look, and listen.” We do this to better find God’s glory, which is so subtly speaking to us in the world around us. Make sure you take that time to listen to what God is saying to you today.
Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB