January 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm #23237
Are You Experiencing an Epiphany in Your Ordinary Times?
Brother Lawrence Damien CoS
We have just celebrated Advent and Christmas as we prepared our hearts to receive once more the coming of our Lord. Then we entered the twelve days of Christmas and rejoiced over his coming and birth. Now we have moved on and enter a season with two names both together I believe show what this season lasting until Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is all about. In the Catholic Church we are currently in Ordinary Times. However in many other churches this is the Season of Epiphany beginning with the visit of the Magi and ending with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. So what is this season all about?
In one sense it‚Äôs a season where nothing exciting is really happening. It just going about our ordinary lives getting up, going to work, getting a paycheck, paying the bills, cooking, washing dishes, eating, showering, grocery shopping, spending time with your husband or wife, partner, and family. Perhaps you may watch some television, get on the computer for awhile and then finally go to bed before getting up to do it all over again. On your days off then you have to mow the lawn, do laundry, sleep in, wash and detail the car and hopefully daily find time for prayer, reading the Word and get to church on Sunday. That sound like your life a bit? To me that sounds very mundane and boring. That is why we need the other name for this season Epiphany.
So what is an Epiphany? The word means an unveiling or manifestation, or a revelation. It is a moment when you suddenly see or understand something in a newer or clearer way. In the church calendar year it begins on January 6th with the coming of the Magi and the manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles. It continues on January 8th when we celebrate the baptism of Jesus and his manifestation as the Son of God with whom God is well pleased. Also on this day we celebrate in some churches the changing of water into wine which is the first miracle Jesus performed at Cana of Galilee. Thus we see Jesus as a miracle worker too. Later as the season progresses we will see him showing compassion by feeding thousands with a little of nothing. However by his words he multiplies a few loaves of bread and fish into enough food to feed thousands and have food left over for another meal. We also see him as a teacher and prophet. We get to see him in many different situations and are able to look at him from many different angles. We can see possibilities how he might be able to do something for us and bring some excitement and change into our ordinary and mundane lives Which brings us back to the question I asked initially ‚ÄúAre You Experiencing an Epiphany in Your Ordinary Times‚ÄĚ?
We all I suspect love to go on retreats, or to a conclave or out in nature somewhere to meditate, seek God and experience some mystical happening or ‚Äúmountain top experience‚ÄĚ. We can feel the presence of God. We are sure that we couldn‚Äôt love him anymore than we do at that moment and we are ready to conquer the world. That is great but what happens when you come down and have to live once again in your mundane ordinary life and world. When nothing extraordinary is seemingly going on and it‚Äôs the same grind day after day doing what you have to in order to survive. Does your experience on the mountain work now? Perhaps its run to the psychiatrist pay him a bundle of money to listen to your tale of woe? I‚Äôll let you in on a little secret a priest will also listen to your tale of woe. Not only that he is sworn to never reveal to anyone what you shared with him, If he does he can be defrocked and lose his faculties (permission) to minister in the office of priest or to perform the sacraments. H owever to the faithful priest then as an added bonus he can hear your confession and grant you absolution. Guess what it‚Äôs all free it won‚Äôt cost you a penny and you‚Äôll have someone praying for and with you until the resolution of the problem and God intervenes and answers.. A pretty good deal if you ask me. So I say save your money and go see the priest. Then take the money you saved and either get something you really need or better yet give it to your church or some other organization that helps people and be a blessing. Some may choose to get stoned or go on a drunk. However that changes nothing and when you sober up the problem is still there and may have even gotten worse while you tried to ignore it.
The only way to change that world I have been talking about is through an Epiphany. It is to let Christ reveal and manifest himself to you in new and exciting ways. It is to let him come into our hearts and clean out the clutter and filth that has been allowed to accumulate and establish his home in us. Then let him use us to be his eyes, hands and feet to the world so they can see the real deal, Christ in the flesh, who loves them and wants to come to them, receive them and change them too. That I believe is what epiphany is all about. It is to prepare us for what is coming in Lent when we descend into the darkness of night and all seems lost. We will experience false adulation, betrayal, crucifixion and death and being laid in a tomb. However since we have had epiphanies during this current season we will not despair or lose hope. We have encountered the living Christ and God and what they can do.
Therefore it may be Good Friday now but Easter Resurrection Sunday is coming. Then our Lord will arise from the dead triumphing over all his enemies including death. We know all will be well as the Holy Spirit descends upon our world at Pentecost giving birth to the church triumphant that will take our world for the cause of Christ and help usher in his kingdom here on earth. In closing then have as many epiphanies as you can this season and together as the united body of Christ, we can move forward together as the living body of Christ to the world bringing his salvation and peace to all who will receive it. That way we can together fulfill our individual callings, reveal and be the real deal until the day we get to see Christ face to face and our earthly labors will be over.
Any comments or thoughts always welcomed
Brother Lawrence Damien
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