THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD [Holy Day of Obligation]
MONDAY 6th JANUARY 2020
Mass Time: 9.30am Venue: Most Holy Redeemer, Ballyholme.
Mass Times: 1pm & 7.30pm Venue: St Comgall’s Church, Brunswick Road.
EPIPHANY OF THE LORD – MONDAY 6th JANUARY 2020
‘O Come, Let Us Adore: Exploring the Crib at Christmas’ (Veritas,2010), pp.37-38 Fr Chris Hayden.
The wisdom shown by the wise men is not unlimited. Evidently, they are men of good will, yet they represent the quintessentially modern phenomenon of believing without belonging. Indeed, the wise men bear a striking similarity to those who ‘practice their faith at Christmas time’, then disappear as quickly as they have appeared. They have been drawn, intrigued, fascinated, but they have not been captivated. Their mysterious and short-lived presence in the Gospel story offers us both a consolation and a challenge. Jesus Christ is for all. He is not the Lord of the virtuous, the pious, the observant, the practicing, but the Lord of all. It is consoling indeed to reflect that God’s providence and love for every human person simply does not admit to being tied down by all-too-human distinctions such as practicing or non-practicing, member or non-member. God is a lover, not a lawyer, and admission to the manger is free.
On a more challenging note, the wise men remind us that departure from the manger is also free, and that having encountered the Lord, we are at liberty to return to a life that is untouched by his presence. It is, in fact, the adult Christ that wins men and women: the Christ who spoke and healed and suffered and died, the Christ who overcame death. The best that the crib can do is revive our nostalgia, sharpen our longing for a real encounter with the risen Lord. But we remain free to pursue this encounter or not to do so; the Lord invites but never imposes.