Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 10:29 AM
The link to Bishop Caggiano's Statement on Abuse Crisis is posted below. Join us for the Rosary Rally of Prayer for the Conversion of America on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at Noon on the lawn.

010817 Epiphany of the Lord - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

The Epiphany of the Lord

  • On this Epiphany Sunday we hear the story of the three wise men bringing gifts to the newborn king...
  • Many years ago there was a TV movie called “The Fourth Wise Man”...
  • It was a mythical story of a fourth wise man who never made it to see the baby Jesus in His infancy... Despite his lifelong pursuit of Jesus - He just kept getting distracted by life...
    • But he never lost sight of his mission...
  • His seeking of Jesus took many years, during which the circumstances of life always found him helping others at his own expense…
    • He always seemed to arrive at his intended destination a just little too late; only to find that Jesus had already departed...
  • This went on for nearly thirty years, until one day, as this wise man was nearing his own death, Jesus found him...
  • As I recall the scene - As Jesus held him in his arms, the wise man lamented that he had no gift to give Him - But Jesus reminded him that his life of selfless service to others, was his gift... and it’s no different for each of us
  • We’re in the midst of both a Church and a secular “season of gifts” – But what about our gifts?
  • When was the last time we reflected upon our own gifts and talents?...
  • Our gifts and talents are meant to be shared with others - But first we must find and acknowledge them...
  • And as we begin to inventory our gifts, we need to remember one important fact:
  • No one has ever lived who is exactly like you... and no one ever will...
  • Every life makes a difference in this world
  • St. John Neumann was quoted as saying: “Everyone who breathes… has a mission, has a work.  We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random… God sees everyone of us; He creates every soul… for a purpose.  As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do His work, we must rejoice in ours also.”
  • We’re each called by God to do things that no one else can do but us
  • Each of our callings are varied and unique, and often change throughout our lives… but most importantly, they’re real, and they’re intended as God’s gift not only to us, but to all of humanity...
  • When we’re faithful to our callings in life… When we recognize and use our gifts for the benefit of those around us – We become a gift to others...
    • And that’s the point – To become a gift to others… like that fourth wise man…...
  • After hearing the news of the newborn king of the Jews we read in today’s Gospel: “When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled and all Jerusalem with him....”
  • Herod clearly felt threatened by the Christ... He feared that he would lose his position, his power... his kingship... He saw Jesus as a competitor to be eliminated, instead of a Savior to be welcomed...
  • Unhealthy competition thrives on the “law of scarcity” – The belief that there’s only so much to go around and no more...
    • In this zero sum game - Only one can win, everyone else must lose...
    • But this is not so with God...
  • Our God is a God of abundance, not a God of scarcity...
  • There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition...
    • Competition which doesn’t seek to harm our competitor...
    • Competition which leads to excellence...
  • But competition can easily get out of hand when it’s based upon the law of scarcity instead of the law of God’s abundance...
  • With an unhealthy competitive mindset, (the mindset of the world) - It becomes very difficult for us to share our gifts and talents with others...
  • Jesus came to take away any notion of unhealthy competition among humanity...
  • There is no “us and them” in God’s eyes, because there is no scarcity of God’s Grace
  • Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew (5:44-45) – “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for He makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
  • So how do we put all of this together...
    • How do we begin to appreciate and better use our gifts and talents…
    • How do we begin to unconditionally accept God’s love for us and eliminate the need for unhealthy competition in our lives…
    • …And how do we navigate our way back to a fuller more vibrant relationship with God and with others?...
  • We do what the Magi did – We choose to go home by another way...
  • We’re all on the same journey home to our Heavenly Father... Whether we realize it or not…
  • To go home by another way means that we consciously change the course of our lives by choosing to live our lives in new ways...
  • In order to go home by another way, we must learn to see the world and our lives with a new perspective… to embrace a sense of mystery and unknowing in our lives, and to stop trying to explain and control everything...
  • If we’re seeking spiritual truths…. We will never find them in seeking certainties… Because they can only be found wrapped in mysteryThe Mystery that is our God
  • We must therefore learn to become comfortable with mystery and unknowing in our lives, and this is ultimately our destination at the end of our earthly lives... To enter fully into the mystery and unknowing that is God...

 

  • A religious Epiphany is a startling recognition of God in our midst... And God calls us to this Epiphany, every day of our lives...

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