Sunday, January 04, 2004

Epiphany

The feast of Epiphany is a wonderful feast to remind of us our Lord's mission which embraces the entire world. Every person of every time, place, and race is loved by the God who created and sustains the universe. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to redeem the entire world. Now in the days of Christmas, we commemorate the first realization of Christ's mission to the Gentiles. The magi or wise men came to honor the King of Kings. In this child, they recognized that God had come among us. As today's readings indicate even in the earliest days of His life, Jesus began the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, "And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." (Is. 60:3) For the first readers of St. Matthew's gospel, who were Jewish Christians, the passage would underscore Christ as the long awaited Messiah because He it is through the Lord that the nations are coming to Israel. They began to come when He was a child, and now they are coming through the risen Lord. As St. Paul points out in the second reading from Ephesians, "the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (3:6). Indeed, the Church is universal or Catholic which in one definition means of the whole.

One wonderful tradition, which I was very happy to see being encouraged in my parish, is the tradition of marking the doors of a family's house with a tangible reminder of Christ's presence among us. With blessed chalk, if available, or any other piece of chalk, the following should be written over the doorway:

20 + C + M + B + 04

This symbolizes the year, the four seasons (the four crosses), and the letters have two meanings. First, the letters from tradition represent the names of the three kings--Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. The other meaning is the Latin phrase Christus Mansioni Benedicat which means May Christ bless this house. It is a beautiful reminder of Christ's presence which was first acknowledged by the Gentiles in the persons of the magi. And I have found it a meaningful reminder throughout the year that Christ has come, and He longs to be present in my house and my heart if I will let Him.

Posted by David at 11:19 AM  |  Comments (1)  | 

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