Tomorrow is the Feast of the Epiphany and the midpoint of the Christmas season is upon us. We have waited and prayed through Advent, preparing ourselves for the coming of our Lord at Christmas.
We celebrated the Nativity of our Lord with our friends and family with great joy, attended our favorite Mass, and praised our children’s efforts in Christmas plays and pageants and concerts.
The whirl of New Year’s celebrations have also come and gone. Hopefully some of our resolutions are not gone as well, and our dreams of self-improvement are still intact.
But what does it mean really, that we are still in the Christmas season after most of the world thinks the celebration is over and the humdrum of our daily work routine is reestablishing itself? Why leave up trees and nativities when the relentless retail and entertainment industries are now marketing Valentine’s Day?
Part of the answer is the great feast of Epiphany, which we celebrate tomorrow. The average person on the street does not seem to know much about this feast, other than that three wise men visited Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, bringing presents. Many may not even realize, because of the depictions in popular culture, that the Wise Men did not arrive on Christmas day. The meaning of these presents will be opened up by others tomorrow who will explain more about the gold, frankincense, and myrrh being presents customarily given to kings and how our King would have need of all three.
Today is a quiet day, a chance to catch our breath and contemplate the mysteries unveiled before us. How did we experience the mystery of waiting for the Lord’s coming to us? Were we able to share the waiting with someone in need, lightening the load for an in-home caregiver or an overworked single mother?
How did the Lord reveal Himself to us in the glory of His incarnation? What present we would we have brought to our newborn King if we only could have traveled to Bethlehem as the wise men did? What are we willing to part with today in honor of our Lord?
Today is also a day of continued celebration, as we welcome the presence of Christ in our hearts and our world. Plan a family celebration for this last day of Christmas. Bake a king cake, set out a feast, invite the neighbors in and show them that the twelve days of Christmas are more than just an excuse not to take the tree down.
Copyright 2015, Carol Ann Chybowski