Feast of the Epiphany- Bearing Gifts

I've been thinking of the Epiphany again today..

Mass readings  for this Sunday are here

and various commentaries here including a fine and timely one from Fr.Ron Rolheiser here titled The Bad Time Comes.

Looking back through my own posts since I began the blog, I was surprised to see that I have done quite a few posts on the theme of The Epiphany, so to make it easier to access them I have put the separate links to them all below.( Hope this helps.)

The gifts of gold for Divinity, frankincense for Holiness and myrrh for reducing pain and embalming, ( a foreshadow of suffering and death), given by the Magi, were perfect for a King when compared to my own gifts that can often fall significantly short of the ideal offering. 

I fail to do my best ;  I fail to love others in the way I should.
Like the image above, I think I am like Dwayne on bad days when the going gets tough and U- turns abound.

The list of my own shortcomings and the world's mess seem to grow longer with each passing day. It's a humbling aspect of reality.

The "streets filled with broken hearts" in Bob Dylan's song  "Everything is Broken" form the real world I regularly see on the news  but Christ gave Himself and His light to show me the way back when I lose myself in the dark places.

Winter Blessing’ by Mary Palmer: 

“When sleet blinds you, hail drowns out voices, and snow hides your path,
May you discern in each flake a star, image of the one that guided the Magi,
And find that in the pain of birth, death or change
There is a light to guide you.”

The word Epiphany from the Greek is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.

The word originally referred to insight given from the divine which cannot be predicted, or controlled; the realization that Christ is the Son of God.

That is the opportunity the feast of the Epiphany allows me to renew.

Star of Bethlehem, Magi - wise men or wise kin...
Image by Wonderlane via Flickr

But epiphanies may often come too as an end result of hard work with many failures, wrong turns and dead ends; just like the long trip made by the Magi across the deserts it can take us all a whole lifetime before we can find God in the everyday.

Leonard Cohen's verse reminds me to keep trying even if my gifts are not gold, frankincense or myrrh..

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

My gifts today are three poems and they all are about epiphanies of one kind or another..

If God is my usable past

the part worth saving,
the minutes, episodes,

chance in-counters
when I measure the moment
by soul standard,

an inward counting
of worth and meaning-
the past
stumbled upon

or given as an outright gift
to which I first said no

then later yes
with a bless-me-now
petition of recognition

instead of my normal

that usable past

as even bruised fruit preserves
and shriveling grapes store sweet wine;

out of the past, O God,

let the useless become usable,

the broken repaired,

the lost found
as when the prodigal’s nowhere
with a change of compass

becomes now here
at homecoming.

Warren L. Molton

Image : Salvador Dali Travels of the Three Kings

I Used To Run

I used to run from you
that in your cool embrace there was an
of all that I ached for

That wounds would sing louder
in your presence,
That smallness and insecurity would emerge
and engulf the self
I had spent so many earnest, neon hued hours
into shape

It's not that I’m more courageous now
but perhaps this laboriously constructed ‘me’  has been pummelled
long and hard enough
to realise that
all the true words
really are
safe in your keeping

So here I am
unclothed and vulnerable
a naked sparrow at the mouth
of the ocean

Speak to me

Tell me what
the wise ones

Maithri Goonetilleke from here


An empty day without events.
And that is why
it grew immense
as space. And suddenly
happiness of being
entered me.

I heard
in my heartbeat
the birth of time
and each instant of life
one after the other
came rushing in
like priceless gifts.

~ Anna Swir (1909-1984), Polish poet.  

No comments: