On Epiphany, we celebrate the day the Magi found Christ. Even though this was their first encounter with the Lord, I doubt it was the end of their journey.
A true encounter with Christ initiates a lifetime of seeking and following him. I have no doubt that the Magi returned to their homeland, inspired to orient their lives to service of Christ the King.
As we move forward from the feast of the Epiphany, we keep in mind that we are just beginning the journey of a lifetime of following Christ. This feast day reminds us to make seeking and finding him a priority in our lives.
This week over on Instagram, many wonderful Catholics shared their thoughts and reflections on how this feast day shapes their relationship with Jesus.
These are thoughts we can reflect on today, but also should keep in our hearts as we go through this week and the year ahead of us.
I had two takeaways – is that allowed?
Of course it is! One, I shared over on Instagram for the #MyMassTakeaway linkup, and the other I shared in my Facebook support group the #VirtueChallengeTeam. I want to share both of them with you here, today!
What Kind of Gifts?
As I was scrolling through hilarious memes of wise men (and women) bringing baby Jesus practical gifts like diapers and wipes, my analytical mind couldn’t help but ask: Why didn’tthe wise men bring more practical gifts?! What kind of gifts are gold, frankincense, and myrrh for a newborn baby? They must have missed the registry.
Those wise men had more on their minds than the temporal needs of baby Jesus. Their gifts ministered to his identity as Christ. They fed his mission as priest, prophet, and king. The wise men had a comprehensive view of Jesus as a person.
It makes me think of my attitude towards my kids. Sometimes I get caught up in meeting their immediate, temporal needs – in the endless cycle of diaper changes, meals, and laundry. I give of myself, constantly, repeatedly, but am I giving the right gifts?
Do I see my kids only as tiny bundles of neediness? Or do I minister to their identities as children of God? Do I feed their mission as disciples of Christ? Today, inspired by the feast of he Epiphany, I desire to take a more comprehensive view of my children as the persons they are. I desire to give them the precious gifts they need to help them fulfill God’s plan for them.
Light to the Nations
Christ is the Light to the Nations. The thing is, he’s always there, but our response to him is what makes the difference. The star that appeared in the sky, announcing Jesus’ birth, was visible to everyone. But not everyone knew what it meant. To most people, it was just another star.
But the Magi had faith. They knew that the star was important, that it meant their salvation. They went to great lengths to go find the infant King whose birth was announce by one (albeit special) star among many.
Then there’s Herod. When he heard about the star and the baby king, he was troubled. He went into a murderous rage. He couldn’t bear any thought of a threat against his dominion over his life and his kingdom.
It made me think… how do we respond to the gift of faith in our lives? Because the fact is, God gives the gift to everyone. But we have to choose how we respond to that gift.
Do we treat the faith as one small aspect of our lives, indistinguishable from any other? Is it on the same playing field as our sports, screen time, food obsession, activities, and entertainment? Is it something we “do” on Sundays, but it doesn’t really shine any brighter than that?
Is the faith something that troubles us? I mean, I get it. Things like the Church’s teachings on sexuality, the Church’s response to the scandals, the sacrifice it takes to get to Mass or make time to pray, or fast – these can be really difficult things! Some of us struggle greatly with different aspects of the faith. But, do we respond to that struggle with trust in God, or with resistance, trying to eradicate the parts of the faith that make us uncomfortable? (Relics and Novenas are my personal struggles).
Or do we abandon ourselves wholeheartedly to following the Light of Christ in our lives? (winning answer) Are we willing to leave our comfort zone like the Magi left their homelands? Are we willing to go to great lengths to do the right thing, to honor and worship Jesus? Will we give him the best of ourselves – gifts of great value and worth?
Probably most of us are a mix of all three. Sometimes on fire with zeal, sometimes troubled, sometimes indifferent.
Today, let’s commit ourselves – and pray for God’s grace – to becoming more like the Magi, seeking Christ every moment of our journey through life.
Question for reflection: How are you following the Light of Christ today?
Featured Five Takeaways
Megan joined the linkup for the first time this week with her thoughts and some “spiritual zingers” that I find convicting! I will definitely be reflecting on her questions throughout the days ahead.
I absolutely love that Heather is digging deeper into the faith and inspiring us to do the same! Also, her twins are always adorable.
Rakhi talks about the home blessing and the continued invitation to seek and find Christ!
Jen and Logan reminded us of the value of silence in seeking and finding Christ. They’ve inspired me to make more time for silence in my life.
The ladies over at HailMarryBlog point to the Corporal Works of Mercy as the daily gifts we can give to Christ. It’s so important to remember and practice these on the daily!
What’s Your Takeaway?
Leave a comment with your takeaway, or join the conversation on social medai!
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