Epiphany

e·piph·a·ny

əˈpifənē/
noun
noun: Epiphany; noun: epiphany; plural noun: epiphanies
  1. the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).
    • the festival commemorating the Epiphany on January 6.

This Sunday the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord. Guided by a star, the magi – or three kings, made their way to the “newborn king.” Here at the blog, I will wait until Tuesday night to post my reflection.

There is a method to my madness; I will be offering said reflection at Evening Prayer here at church on Tuesday night, at 7PM. All are welcome! If you are a reader and I do not know you, please make sure you catch me and say hello – I would love to meet you!

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Reflection of the Journey of Winter – by Don Wilson

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Reflection for the Journey of Winter

A time for reflection stirs deep within….
To ponder this journey that we each trod.
For this season I will hopefully find much peace…
It will bid me to be blessed by God.

Many view this season with intrepidation and fear…
For what perhaps another season holds.
The season that I put aside for now….
Not ready to venture out in the cold.

I choose to relish in this winter time….
I will not waste on what might not be.
For what lies in store before these eyes…
Is the season God has gifted me.

There are thoughts of many folks as well…
Some of family also some of friends
I will embrace each that God has sent….
Until this journey has reached it end.

There is peace in this quiet reflection….
That clears my cluttered thoughts in mind.
I will stand before another season…
But for now I am graced by this winter time.

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The Christmas Moment – A reflection by Bill Thornton

Greetings all – it is still Christmas, even if all the world around us says otherwise. Let us still live it! Here is a blog, meant for Christmas day, by Bill Thornton. Your blogger-in-chief fell down on the job and missed posting it until today. Thankfully, it is *still* Christmas, so Bill’s reminder is a good one. Christmas moments can come any day, can’t they? Blessings of the season, and gratitude to all who pray and journey with us here.

Photo credit: Damian Peach, found on APOD.

Photo credit: Damian Peach, found on APOD.

There is a moment – a Christmas moment – maybe THE Christmas moment. It is hard to find and easy to miss, but it is there and it is worthwhile finding. It lies between commercial Christmas and religious Christmas. After pop culture Christmas songs, but before carols and hymns. After White Christmas, Blue Christmas, All I want for Christmas …, Jingle Bells, Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming, Santa Baby, Grandma Got Run Over …, etc., but before Silent Night, Adeste Fideles, Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry …, O Holy Night, and the Messiah. After shopping, buying, wrapping, decorating, cooking, planning, cleaning, sending cards, running the Christmas Ironman, but before going to church, greeting friends, singing, praying, listening, and before giving, opening, and enjoying gifts, before hugging and loving family, before serving and eating that special meal, loosening your belt and breathing a sign of satisfaction – and relief.

It is in there somewhere. If you look for it you will find it – a brief, brilliant moment of unadorned divine light. This is where you will see? Hear? Feel? Somehow understand that God so loved (your name here) that he sent His only begotten Son so that when you believe in Him you will not die but have eternal life.”

Hold on to that moment as long as you can. It won’t last long, it is too intense and you’re too busy. Relish that tiny moment, and quietly give thanks.

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Anticipation – An Advent Reflection by Karen DiPalma

Advent-CalendarWe can never know about the days to come

But we think about them anyway

And I wonder if I’m really with you now

Or just chasing after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation is making me late

Is keeping me waiting

—————-Excerpts from “ Anticipation” by Carly Simon

 

Another Advent is nearly over, my friends. Despite my best efforts, the season becomes a shopping , cooking, planning event. I remember childhood days of watching, waiting and worshiping. It’s not that I’ve forgotten that. Now I eagerly await the visits of family and friends, a party, and preparing enough food to feed our block.

Anticipation, by Carly Simon. The phrases above sum up my battle at this time of the year. Yes, I am caught up in the secular world, while trying to blend in my faith. What I have to do is remember that , after the last gift is wrapped, after the last card is written, after the last cookie is eaten, to thank God for all that he has given me. Again I am watching, waiting & worshiping. I am with Him really, enjoying some finer days, a blessing from Him. May God bless you and yours now and in the year to come.

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Mary, Our Model in Advent – by Bill Thornton

Immaculata2-1 [This was originally given to be a spoken sharing at an Advent evening prayer liturgy at St. Edward’s On Tuesday December 9. The liturgy was snowed out, so I am publishing it here. Most of the people who customarily attend this liturgy know me quite well and make allowances when I tend to ramble and run on. So I thought that I would “tighten it up” before I published it, but, on second thought, I decided to leave it alone. Here it is “warts and all.”]

 

When I agreed to give this little talk tonight, I noticed that today is the feast day of St. Juan Diego, the person who saw the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Also, Friday [Dec. 12] is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and, of course, yesterday [Dec. 8] was the Immaculate Conception. It seemed clear to me that this week was Mary’s week, and that I should talk about Mary. Later, while I was sorting books donated to the parish library, I came across this one, “Mary Today,” by Basil Pennington. You probably know Father Pennington as the Trappist monk and priest who was the author of several books, most particularly the popular book on Centering Prayer. What especially caught my eye with this books, was the subtitle, “Model for Maturing Christians.” Anybody here consider yourself Maturing Christians? So here was a slant on Mary that I could write on.

In his book, Fr. Pennington asks, “Who is Mary? And who is she in my life? Who ought she to be in my life as a disciple, follower, friend, and lover of Jesus Christ?”   Neither Fr. Pennington nor I have any answers to these questions, rather we both set out to raise some thoughts for you to ponder.

As I began to work on this talk, I was drawn to Pennington as a person primarily because of some interesting parallels in our lives.

Pennington entered the Trappist monastery in Spencer, Massachusetts, in 1951 at the age of 20. I entered the Paulist Fathers minor seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, in the following year at the age of 13. He made his vows on September 8, 1956. I made my first temporary promises on the same date, three years later. It was customary in many religious orders to make vows on September 8 because it is the birthday of Mary. [In case you Continue reading

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Nothing will be impossible – an Advent reflection by Doreen Salse

article-2260923-16E195DD000005DC-914_634x313…..for nothing will be impossible for God
-Luke 1:37

The beautiful theme of hope – the impossible becoming possible – runs throughout Advent, the season of wonder.

Perhaps children relate best to the whole idea of Advent, the thought that something good is coming to them as they count down to Christmas in hopeful anticipation.  They look for signs that the special day is almost here: colored candles in church and songs they can sing along with on Sundays, bright lights shining in the night on neighboring houses.

When I was about 10, I pretty much knew Continue reading

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Extravagant Metaphors – An Advent Reflection by Bill Thornton

62919_jumboWhen my daughter, Lisa, was about 13 or 14, we drove to Chicago to visit my sister Frances. Traveling across northern Indiana on I-90, we passed mile after mile of summer corn fields. At some point, Lisa said to me, “If you say look at all that corn one more time, …” I don’t tell you this to introduce some story about Lisa, Chicago, Frances, Indiana, or corn fields. I want to tell you that Advent is the time of the extravagant metaphor.

The metaphors in the readings for the Advent liturgy, especially those from Isaiah, are talking about lions lying down with lambs, bears grazing with farm animals, little children playing on top of poisonous snakes lairs, and – yes – mountains being flattened and valleys being filled in. A good poet – like Isaiah – chooses figures of speech that will appeal to his readership. Since the Jews of Isaiah’s time lived in an agrarian society where most travel and transportation was by foot, human or animal, he selected metaphors that fit their life. He told them that they would not have to worry about predators and that farming and transporting their goods to market would be simplified.

At least to me, flattening mountains and filling in valleys sounds a little like turning the Adirondacks into northern Indiana. But to the Jewish farmer who had to plow his fields by walking behind a pair of oxen, that sounded great. And to the pilgrim who at least once a year had to walk – say from Nazareth – to Jerusalem pretty much uphill all the way, they could shout Alleluia.

So if the extravagant metaphors don’t really appeal to you, maybe it is time Continue reading

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