Epiphany

A healthy human is an adventurer on a journey and the spiritual life is often spoken about as the following of a hunger and a yearning for God.

The Magi were wise because they were searchers, perhaps astronomers and/or astrologers, adventurers on a mission in search of life’s meaning and purpose, and willing to leave home comforts and securities in their quest.

Many people’s prayers consist of pleading that a distant God will come to lift them and those they love out of the difficult circumstances of the present moment. Of course God does not hesitate to answer these desperate prayers and the Magi who sought Christ may well have been driven by such motivations.

But the Magi then found the one whom they sought. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that they were found by Christ, and this encounter with their God in the unexpected form of a helpless baby changed their lives forever.

When they began their journey home a few hours later they were different. As Eliot ponders in his Journey of the Magi, “We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation…”

Perhaps this is because the Magi as they returned home after their encounter with Christ were less searchers and more pilgrims who had been found by Christ who had always been seeking them.

From the moment of this encounter with Christ these wise men became even more wise, no longer simply seeking in the external signs of stars and guided by random conversations with strangers. The new wisdom of the Magi was that they now knew how to listen for and recognise the voice of Christ dwelling within each of them.

On their journey to Christ they needed external signs and asked “where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” Now that they had been found by Christ they were able to trust the divine voice within and had the courage to change direction as led by the Spirit of God: “And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,  they departed for their country by another way.”

While much of the time we may feel lost searching for and grasping at any path that promises quick satisfaction, the central fact of our faith is that we have already been found by the one whom we seek.

We are therefore not only those who seek, but they who have been found.

And this central fact of our faith makes all the difference.

11 Responses to "Epiphany"
  1. Happy New year Father John. It’s a wonderful word “epiphany”, a light build moment if you will. I pray to be open to the Christ child and His will.

  2. Thank you for your all-encompassing love reflection this morning.

    The essence of the writings illuminated the meaning of Ephiphany – the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles
    and in turn, the realization of the depth meaning and purpose of our outward and inward journey in life.

    I pray today that the New Year Star shines the epiphany of Hope and Change within ourselves … the newness of wisdom, courage and direction so that we are “no longer at ease in the old dispensation”.

    “May God give us each a blessed Ephiphany of comfort and unease”.
    Thomas Goodhart.

  3. Happy New Year with real gratitude for your reflections and uplifting thoughts to help us centre our lives with Jesus .
    Gods Blessings Fr John

  4. At the end of mass we are sent out.
    May we all in this new yeat have the sense that we are sent out to love and serve the Lord in our families, workplaces and all those we meet. Amen

  5. Happy Epiphany to Fr John and everyone.
    How beautiful the real life story of the Three Wise Men, their lives changed forever, burning with a love deep inside for baby Jesus.

  6. As the wise men journey,
    Following the STAR’
    We journey each time,to the
    Eucharistic mass, drawing us
    Ever closer to JESUS,
    And the eternal gifts HE’
    Offers us.
    Thankyou’ Heavenly Father.

    And Thankyou Fr John,for
    Activating my thoughts.

  7. Thanks, Fr John! Your reflections have been a wonderful grace for me through the Advent and Christmas seasons, as also Lent and Easter earlier. Love the visuals at the start, as also the links to relevant readings, art, music, etc. God bless!

  8. Thank you for travelling to Mangonui to celebrate Mass with us and we hope you will be able to be with us again some day. Your homily was inspiring to both of us. Christ is there with us within all aspects of our lives. Thank you, Gil & Tom

  9. Thank you so much Father John for your wonderful celebration and sharing of wonderful insight into journey through life both inward and outward. I found your sharing through your homily very healing and nurturing. Bless you. Your reo was beautiful and Tony and I commented on how amazing it was given that you haven’t used Te Reo in so many years at how lovely and clear it was, Tino pai e Pa.
    Ma Te Atua koe e manaaki e tiaki hoki
    Arohanui
    Connie & Tony Hassan

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