This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. The word “Epiphany” means “manifestation.” Through the Magi, the Messiah was manifested to the whole world. He had already been manifested to the Jewish people through the shepherds.
This feast is emphasizing the reality that this Child is the Savior of ALL people. He is Emmanuel, God-with-us, and “us” includes each and every human being.
His presence continues today: God is with us in the people around us, our family members, an annoying co-worker, the beggar on the street. He is being manifested to us constantly, but do we always recognize Him? Our world today is so frenetic, we spend so much time on social media and looking at our cell phones. Next time you are in a restaurant, look around and see how many people are engrossed in their phones instead of connecting with the people at their table. He is especially present in those that need our help and attention: the hungry, the lonely, the bullied, etc.
I invite us to reflect this week on how well we do at recognizing and responding to Emmanuel, God-with-us, in the people around us. That might help us to be patient with someone who is annoying us. It might help us to forgive someone who has hurt us. It might help us control our anger when someone cuts us off in traffic. It might help us get up from in front of the television to visit a shut-in. And so on.
The more all of us can recognize Christ in those around us, the more “peace on earth” we will have: we will be bringing the true meaning of Christmas to life in our world today. God bless.
Church sign of the week: What does God have in common with an object in the car mirror? Both are closer than you think.