With the start of a new year, a season of unlimited and fresh opportunities for growth is opening up before us. On a weekly basis, most of us become informed about these great prospects for human and spiritual development either through our weekly parish bulletins or digital media. Filled with obvious invitations to intensify our spiritual lives, our parish bulletins and the digital platforms to which we have become accustomed contain both obvious and hidden nuggets of holiness and wisdom that can lead us to a personal experience of epiphany.
On Sunday, Jan. 6, the Church observes the Solemnity of the Epiphany, when according to Scripture, three wise men from the east brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus. At this epiphany moment Jesus, manifested himself as Son of God to these three mysterious men. After following the light of a star on a long and arduous journey, they discovered that the one to whom they were led was both truly God and truly human. The opening of their treasure and offering it to Christ was an outward expression of their internal posture. With hearts open to a mystery beyond them, they offered Jesus love and placed their faith and trust in him. In the offering of earthly goods, they gave visible and tangible support to the infant king.
As with the three wise men, we embark upon a journey to follow the light. For us the journey is this New Year, a new season of grace, God has epiphany moments in store for all of us. If we seek God and follow his light, the inner recesses of our lives are sure to be illuminated. The experience of being touched by divine light allows us to suddenly grasp a piece of reality that once remained hidden from us, bringing us clarity, joy and peace. Our personal epiphany moments are like flashes of light which touch, change and move us to order our lives in positive directions. Most importantly, our epiphany moments are a gift to us from our loving God and creator, inviting us to a deep connection with him and to profound spiritual growth. God strengthens our bond with him in moments of personal epiphany.
Although Christmas has come and gone, and we have begun both a new liturgical year and calendar year, we continue a personal advent, waiting for God's light to touch us anew. In the waiting, we fix our gaze on Christ who is our light and we travel the journey God has for us. In God's great generosity, we will be awakened this year by the touch of God, who deepens our faith and expands the horizons of our understanding. In a moment of personal epiphany, God remains true to his promise to lead us to life.
With the certainty of God's presence in our lives, we can be attentive and observant in an intentional way to the signs of God's love that surround us. We can give our brains a rest from the overstimulation we experience in this digital age. In this way we ready our hearts to receive God's message, and as one author put it, "When the disciple is ready, the teacher will appear."