Like Christmas, Epiphany is a season, not just a day in the life of the church.
The Epiphany itself is an ancient Christian feast day and is significant in a number of ways. We shall celebrate the Epiphany on Sunday 8th January at the1030 Mass.
The Western Church began celebrating the Epiphany in the 4th century where it was, and still is, associated with the visit of the magi (wise men) to the infant Jesus when God revealed himself to the world through the incarnation of Jesus. According to Matthew 2:11 they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, all of which have deep symbolic meanings.
For us the season of Epiphany extends from 6 January until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter. The question is though what is the significance of the season for us today? What can we learn from it?
Most obviously we can learn from that lovely Rossetti poem:
“What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.”
By giving ourselves in loving obedience to God; as Ignatius of Loyola prayed: Teach us, good Lord, to serve as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing we do your will.”
As we enter this season may I encourage you to use these two prayers to deepen your experience of Christ’s presence in your life?
This is also the start of the Year of our Lord, 2017; a time to make new resolutions.
May I also encourage you to consider your church life when making resolutions?
These might include; more regular attendance at Mass; increased regular giving, perhaps by standing order, gift aided; helping with our children’s initiative; reading, leading the intercessions or reading at Mass. Membership of the Church, (are you on the Electoral Role?).
This year will see some changes in the day-to-day life of the church and Fr Gerald will announce these at Mass on the 15th January. We hope you will be with us as we map out an exciting way forward for St Cyprian’s.
Fr Gerald and myself join in wishing you a Happy New Year.