Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Faith Seeking Understanding for January 8, 2006

Merry Christmas! Of course, Christmas day was celebrated two weeks ago, but the Church calendar reminds us that the Christmas season lasts until tomorrow, when we remember the Baptism of the Lord. Even though Christmas trees, carols, and decorations seem to have disappeared, it is important to remember that we continue celebrate Christmas in the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. Why does the Church extend the celebration of this great Feast for four weeks?

The mystery of God becoming man is a central reality of our Faith. Aside from the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ which we celebrate during Holy Week and the Season of Easter, no more important truth about Salvation exists. We need time to reflect and meditate upon the truth that God has become a man; He is now one of us; He shares every aspect of our nature, except for sin. One day – and even one week – is not enough to let the meaning of this truth sink into our hearts. Because once we realize that God has become a man, we can no longer look at each other in the same way: He has not become a man only for the righteous, but for sinners; He has not become a man only for the wealthy, but for the poor; He has not become a man only for the intelligent, or the talented, or the popular, but for every man, woman, and child throughout all of human history.

This is the mystery expressed in today’s Feast. The Epiphany – as you recall from the faith-festival last month – is the revelation of Jesus Christ to the world. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is “the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God, and Savior of the World” (CCC, ¶528). These three realities are expressed in the three events remembered in the Liturgy of Epiphany: the adoration of the Wise Men (magi) from the East, the Baptism in the Jordan, and the miracle at the wedding-feast in Cana. Whether we see the mysterious meanings hidden in the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh; or the testimony of the Baptist and the heavenly voice; or the miraculous transformation of water into wine, we learn something new and profound about Jesus of Nazareth.

We are likewise given a task in each of these three “manifestations” – Christ calls us to, in turn, reveal Him to the nations. We are asked to return to our homes and businesses this week with the joy of the magi at finding the newborn King, to show Him to our families, friends, and associates by our words and deeds that reveal Christ anew. We are reminded by the heavenly voice: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, and by our own baptism, we are His brothers and sisters, heirs to His heavenly Kingdom. Finally, we hear the voice of Mary at the wedding-feast: “Do whatever He tells you.” Are we ready and willing to heed this command?

The mystery of the Epiphany helps us see beyond the appearances of the manger, to the deeper realities that exist. No longer are the few shepherds and chosen citizens of Bethlehem aware of the mysterious Child, but we are all called to adore the Word-made-flesh, and in turn to reveal Him to the world. May this Epiphany help us see beyond the veil that covers our hearts and our souls, to see the hidden Christ-child in the unborn, the poor, the elderly, and the sick, that we might encounter Christ anew.

May God bless you all!