The Epiphany of the Lord: Looking Upward, Setting Out, and Offering our Gifts

Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. The day the Three Wise Men finally reached the newborn king after a long journey and leap of faith.  During this celebration in Rome, Pope Francis spoke of the Magi, AKA the Three Wise Men, AKA the Three Kings.  He called us to be more like the Magi, “looking upwards, setting out, and freely offering our gifts.”

The Magi, the Pope argued, were the only ones to see the star because so few of us look to the heavens.  We keep our eyes to the ground, content with “just enough health, money, and entertainment,” he continued. Rightfully so, Pope Francis fears that too many of us lack the ability to look to the sky and dream. To long for God and newness.  We must surrender our personal stars, those things which shine brightly in our own eyes but whose luster inevitably burns out, and set our sights on the one star that may not shine as bright, yet never dulls – God.

His Holiness also spoke of the importance of us to set out. As Catholics, we are called to set out on a journey towards and with God.  To look for God outside of our “hearts and homes” and, dare I say, in the places we feel most uncomfortable. This is especially difficult for me as someone who loves to stay home.  I have few desires to do things outside the comforts of my own walls, yet this way of living will undoubtedly hinder all forms of my growth.

Lastly, the Pope speaks of freely offering our gifts. He says, “we give a gift pleasing to Jesus when we care for a sick person, spend time with a difficult person, help someone for the sake of helping or forgive someone who has hurt us. These are gifts freely given, and they cannot be lacking in the lives of Christians.” Giving freely of ourselves comes easier for some than it does for others, but we should never stop asking ourselves, what would Jesus do? Pope Francis challenged us to “look at our hands, so often empty of love, and let us try to think of some free gift that we can give without expecting anything in return. That will please the Lord. And let us ask him: ‘Lord, let me rediscover the joy of giving.'”

May you too, experience an epiphany today.  One where you are awakened to the possibilities of a life where God is the only star you need in your life.  Where the love of God overwhelms you and where you strive to make your life one Jesus would be proud of.

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