Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Dec 22, 2011 | Comments (0)

First Sunday After Christmas, Matthew 2:1-12

The last Sunday in Christmas is one of those in between Sundays. Christmas is ending and the Epiphany season begins on January 6. The Heroes of Epiphany are the three Wise Men. The Scripture is read at a mid‑week service which, today, is not always celebrated. When it is, there is only a small group to hear the news about the Wise Men. Rather than try to sing Christmas carols after the Event, I like to read the Epiphany Gospel to prepare the community with the coming season.

Christmas is over. The lights, busy of malls and hustle of traffic is gone. The Wise Men come and the start of Epiphany. The Epiphany is the Season of lights, but where is the light? It is probably the darkest Season of the Church Year. Where is the Light? Let us remember we are not looking for physical light. If you are, you will probably not find much of it. It is the spiritual light or perhaps we should call it the enlightenment that we seek.

To find it, we must look inside rather than outside ourselves. The Light of Christ has been given to us. However, we can only access the light consciously in our heart, not rationally through the head. We all have this capability, but the older we get, we tend to lean more on how to cope with the darkness than pursue the light. Agnes Sanford was one of the brightest lights of the 20th Century. She used to say little children were very spiritual because they just came from being with God. As we grow into adults, we learn more about how to be without God and the Light.

Being in God's Presence must be relearned. It is there. It is nothing new, but it is to be discovered. When the explorers discovered the new lands, it was not as if it was new. They were always there but not known. Using our conscious faculties is something we have done less and less. Epiphany is the season to start using them.

It is not hard to do. It is easy and it does not take a lot of time. It does take, as they would say, a "fire in the belly". It is not a sense of commitment or discipline that is needed. What is needed is a sense of desperation. It is critical for our life. Once we get the fire, the rest is easy. Take a few moments each day during this Epiphany Season to discover the inner Light.

The Wise Men did not discover Jesus. He was not lost. They were the ones who were lost. Forget wanting to look for Jesus. He is not lost. We are. His Presence is right here within us. We need to learn to use our conscious faculty to discover His Light.

The way I find most helpful is to wonder. Wondering is an act of the heart. If you want to see light, wonder what difference being in the Presence makes each Epiphany day. The Season is a little more than forty days. Visualize it as the forty days of light and wonder what difference walking in the dark or the Light will make in your life. Being in the Presence will light the fire in our hearts.

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