Summary: Be open to epiphanies

Epiphany of the Lord, Sunday January 8, 2017

In literary terms, an epiphany is that moment in the story when a character achieves a realization, awareness or a knowledge of something, after which, events are seen through this prism.

1). One epiphany is in verse 2, the Magi ask the question, “Where is the new-born King of the Jews”?

They were not Jews themselves, but they sought a king; someone they could believe in; someone they could trust and follow.

Could it be that they had plenty of everything, except what they needed to make what they had worth possessing?

Most of us have enough to live on, but we need enough to live for, to find the meaning in our lives and vocations through Jesus Christ, as the Preface Prayer for Christmas says, “a new light of your glory has shone upon the eyes our mind…

2). Another Epiphany comes from verse 3 from our First Reading from Isaiah, chapter 60, “Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.”

We are talking about political powers. Of course, the prophet recognizes that this new society is a long way off from being realized. It is not surprising that the book of Revelation uses this text to speak about the heavenly Jerusalem.

We are called to walk in the light now, to act correctly and be ahead of the curve, when all the nations will finally accept Christ.

e.g. The Sydney Swans were the joke of the Australian football league. They had the worst record, the worst players, the worst coach, and the worst fans. Most of their home games were played in front of empty seats.

But a strange thing happened. The team got a new coach and a few new players—and started winning. Before long, the team that had been the laughing stock of the league was a powerhouse.

And since everybody likes a winning team, you can imagine what happened next. The stands began to fill. Thousands of people who had no interest in the team before began to attend games religiously.

Soon it became almost impossible to get a ticket to a Swans game.

One Sunday afternoon the Swans were playing a rival team in front of a capacity crowd. As the TV cameras zoomed in on the revelry and joy in the stands, one focused on a single man who was cheering and waving a sign that he had obviously made himself. Grinning proudly, he held up his sign for all the world to see: I WAS HERE WHEN NOBODY ELSE WAS!

Only follow Him, disregard everything else.

3). Another epiphany is to be open for epiphanies! I read of a story about a guy named Eric who did not like epiphanies because they could be unsettling.

He had problems he was trying to work though and he saw another people with worst problems than his and they were reasonably content, even laughing, exchanging hugs, and happy. Seeing this, Eric kept on repeating the phrase over and over, "I don't get it." Then one day, it occurred to him how strong his resistance to growth really was. In that moment, he understood that "I don't get it" really meant, “I won’t let it." Fearing failure, he was over-protective but that epiphany helped him to open up to new growth.

Keep your eyes open for a star that might burst forth in the dark night of your soul. And those stars do burst forth.

Sometimes it's the star that's seen in the wisdom of a little child; sometimes it's the unexpected action of a caring friend; sometimes it’s the words we hear in the Readings at Mass or in a homily. All of a sudden, meaning begins to unfold and life takes on a preciousness that it never had before. And we recognize it, follow it.

Lastly, in verses 10 and 11, the Magi went into the house and saw the child with Mary, and they fell down and worshipped Jesus. Remember the story of Fatima? An angel appeared before the children to prepare them for the appearance of the Blessed Mother. At one time, the angel elevated a host, prostrated himself, and sang God's praises. We can make that an epiphany at every Mass.

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