Friday, January 17, 2020 at 11:24 AM
Sunday Mass times change- Sunday Jan. 5, 2020 to 8, 9:30, 11 a.m. & 4:30 Jan. 26 Bible blessing at mass-bring your bibles.

1/5/20 Epiphany - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

The Epiphany of the Lord
Lectionary: 20

 

  • Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord... where the Magi encounter the “Word made Flesh” in the Christ child...
  • But what exactly is an Epiphany?
  • A simple example might be when the proverbial ‘light bulb’ goes off, and we experience that “ah ha” moment; when we realize or appreciate a truth that’s been right in front of us, and begin to see everything from a new perspective...
  • The Bible is full of epiphany stories... stories of the manifestation of God in the lives of ordinary people like you and I...
  • These epiphanies are not just confined to Sacred Scripture however... Because we each have epiphanies in our own lives...
  • As parents for example, when we look at our children and for the first time see them in a new way, as young adults for instance... this is an epiphany moment...
  • An epiphany changes our worldview... We see things in a new light, which can change our lives...
  • The question that we should ask ourselves is: “What have been our epiphanies?”
  • Where have we experienced a change of heart… a change in our worldview… a change in our attitudes?
  • And how have these epiphanies affected how we live our lives?
  • We read in today’s Gospel: “They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.  They prostrated themselves and did him homage.  Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
  • Like the Magi - It’s often in opening and giving away our treasures, (i.e. our gifts and talents), that the greatest epiphanies of life occur…
  • Have we ever heard someone say: “I was born for this?” 
  • To suddenly recognize our place and purpose in the world is an epiphany moment…
  • To recognize how our gifts and talents can be used to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life can be life-changing
  • It’s never too late in life to re-imagine our purpose, and to fulfill it...
  • Life is full of so called “late bloomers” who discover their true gifts and talents later in life...
  • Each of us has a calling in life, and more often than not - Many callings
  • Our callings and our purpose change throughout our lives...
  • What we’re called to be and do at one stage in life can change as we enter a new stage
  • The important question for each of is: What are our gifts and talents, and how are we using them to fulfill our callings…
  • As we begin to inventory our gifts and talents, we need to remember one important fact:
    • No one has ever lived who is exactly like you... and no one ever will...
  • We’re reminded at this time of year of the classic movie - “It’s a Wonderful Life,” in which George Bailey is given the privilege of seeing what life would have been like had he not been born…
  • This is a timeless parable, because we’re all George Bailey’s
  • Each of our lives makes a difference in the world even though we may find that hard to believe
  • When we think of the lives of gifted individuals that have impacted the world, we might think of famous people who’ve achieved great things in the public eye…
  • Great athletes, gifted performers, wealthy entrepreneurs, famous world leaders
  • But the vast majority of gifted individuals are found in unassuming men and women living very ordinary lives without fanfare or accolades... In individuals who quietly use their gifts and talents for the benefit of others
  • They’re found in individuals who see their jobs more as vocations and ministries rather than just as a way to make a living…
  • They’re revealed in the person who is known for their hospitality to others…
  • They’re exhibited in the parent or teacher who shows endless patience and compassion with a special needs child…
  • They’re evident in the person who loves to interact with others
  • They’re displayed in the person who loves to learn to understand the inner workings of nature in the many fields of science, medicine, and engineering
  • They’re evident in those individuals who have an inherent knack to be able to create something out of nothing, or who can literally fix anything that’s broken or malfunctioning
  • The list is endless…
  • It’s too easy to claim that we have no special gifts or talents… It lets us off the hook… It relieves us from looking honestly at ourselves…
  • Each of our callings are varied and unique, but most importantly they’re real, and they’re intended as God’s gift not only to us, but to the world...
  • But sometimes we can get in our own way… 
  • Sometimes we can be our own worst critic and our own worst enemy… 
  • Sometimes we can allow fear to rule us and forget that love always wins... 
  • Sooner or later we need to allow God to help us find the courage to discover and use our gifts and talents for the benefit of others… 
  • Sooner or later we need to have faith in God and faith in ourselves and live the life we’ve been called to live
  • As we stand at the beginning of a new year… We’re reminded that every morning we awake is a chance for a new beginning
  • Each new year, each new day, holds new promise if we’re open to seeing our lives and our world differently
  • And this is the ultimate epiphany that we’re each called-to sooner or later in our lives: To begin to see our lives and the world from a new perspectivefrom God’s perspective
  • When we’re faithful to our callings in life… When we recognize and use our gifts and talents for the benefit of those around us – We become a gift to others...
  • And that’s the point - We’re all called to become a gift to others

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