The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, which we celebrate today, recalls three events in the life of Christ: the visit to the child Jesus by the three Magi, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, and the first miracle of Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana. The divinity of Jesus was revealed in these three moments. Not that his divinity wasn't revealed at other moments, but we choose to focus on these three particular scenes for this feast day. “The mystery was made known to me by revelation” (Eph 3:3).
Focusing on the first image of this tryptic, as that is our chosen Gospel for this Sunday, we hear the coming of the Magi prophesied in Isaiah: “Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; all from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD” (Is 60:6).
Psalm 72, our Responsorial Psalm today, also contains a prophecy. “The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. All kings shall pay him homage, all nations shall serve him” (Ps 72:10-11).
The three gifts of the Magi each hold different meaning. Gold represents Christ's royalty; frankincense represents Christ's divinity; myrrh represents Christ's humanity, particularly his suffering. We all know of the association of gold and kings. Frankincense was used during worship in the temple, hence the connection to the divine, and myrrh was a perfume used to anoint the deceased. Each of those gifts reveals to us something about Jesus.
If you're struggling with one of those aspects of Jesus Christ–his supremacy, his divinity, his humanity–then perhaps you can find a Nativity scene somewhere and meditate on the Magi and their gifts.
We've had a group of parents and volunteers cleaning out the school courtyard. Thank you to all who helped. The courtyard was once a great space for our parish and unfortunately over the years it has become a sort of trash heap. That is changing. We are in the process of designing the interior space so that we can have a playground and basketball area for our school children and a prayer garden with green space for all parishioners. Everyone will be able to access this area, and we will be able to have small gatherings in the new courtyard, not to mention overflow space for events in the gym. It is my goal to have this great new addition to our parish completed by the end of this summer!
Today, Sunday, January 7th, at noon in the Ahearn Activity Center is the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for our parish's Boy Scout troop. Congratulations to Garrett Mulkerin, whose project helped the Little Sisters of the Poor Nursing Home in Chicago, and to Ian Skiersch, whose project helped the theatre at Notre Dame College Prep. Welcome back to our St. Juliana School students and teachers! I hope you had a relaxing break. Monday evening school board will meet, in addition to Men's Club. On Tuesday, we will have a First Reconciliation/First Communion parent meeting. The next day, Wednesday, I will also be present for the Religious Education Confirmation parent meeting.
We are excited to debut next Sunday the St. Juliana teen group! All teens are invited to attend the 5pm Mass, followed by pizza and an open gym in the Ahearn Center. There is no obligation–just come for a fun Mass and some free food and games. Parents, please encourage your high schoolers to attend and feel free yourself to come and chaperone. Things should be wrapped up by 7-7:30pm.
Have a great week!
Yours in Christ,