Tag Archive for 'Epiphany'

Last Epiphany February 14, 2010

Exodus 34:29-35                                                                

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2                                                      

Luke 9:28-43

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing [on God’s glory]. — 2 Corinthians 3:12

This is one of the central themes in the New Testament, indeed in Christianity as a religion: that with Jesus Christ no longer is God veiled, a terrible presence before whom we can only cringe in fear, whom we  can only approach indirectly, through observing a code of complex rules and through the rituals of a sacred priesthood. No, our God is the God revealed in Jesus, a human being like ourselves. Jesus who knows our weakness, our doubts, our confusion, our sins. But Jesus who has saved us from ourselves, who loves us and calls us to be with him.

It is a very powerful idea. We make a mistake if we treat it as simply a contrast between Judaism and Christianity. The contrast between the veiled God and the transparent God runs through all religions. Continue reading ‘Last Epiphany February 14, 2010’

Epiphany 4 January 31, 2010

Jeremiah 1:4-10                                                                  

1 Corinthians 13:1-13                                                      

Luke 4:21-30

 One of the wonderful things that can happen sometimes at church is that something that had grown old is made new. A reading, for instance, a prayer, a hymn, an idea – that had seemingly lost its life through overuse is suddenly resurrected, given new currency. Those of us who were here last Sunday, when Canon Charles LaFond was our preacher and followed up in the afternoon with the retreat on discernment, experienced I think one of those “made new” moments.

It centered around what Charles said about saying “yes” to God. You remember that he started out by talking about how epiphany – this season of the Church year – is like a light going on. The star in the sky that the Magi followed to the Savior’s birth – a light going on. Jesus coming up out of the waters of baptism and hearing the voice of God pronounce him the Beloved – a light going on. Jesus turning the water into wine at the Wedding at Cana – another light. When God reveals himself, we experience it as a light going on. What had been unclear, confused, without purpose or direction – suddenly the light goes on, something clicks, and we see the way forward. These are epiphanies; this is how God calls to us. Continue reading ‘Epiphany 4 January 31, 2010’

The Epiphany of the Lord January 6, 2010

Isaiah 60:1-6                                                                       

Ephesians 3:1-12                                                                

Matthew 2:1-12

[At Holy Cross Church, we celebrate major feasts that fall on weekdays with informal evening house Masses. A congregation of a dozen or so gathers at the vicarage. The celebrations are followed by potluck desserts.]

Increasingly these major feasts in the Church calendar – All Saints’, Ascension, the Epiphany – can be celebrated on the nearest Sunday. That’s true with the Epiphany now in the Roman Catholic Church in North America, the Anglican Church of Canada, even the Church of England. The Sunday celebration allows the whole congregation to share in what are important liturgies of the Christian faith. But keeping the celebrations on weekdays does have the advantage of reminding us that the Church moves to a deeper and more ancient rhythm that the commercialized, secular world around us. We have lost a lot of the richness of a world that was oriented around the cycle of feasts and fasts, holy days with their rituals and stories.

Sometimes I come up to a Mass like the one tonight and I wonder what I can possibly find to say – to say that is fresh and new for this congregation of faithful house Mass attendees, who have all heard my thoughts many times before. But then, praying with the readings, they begin to open up and reveal new depths of richness, new allusions and insights. And these major feasts also are so much more than the readings appointed for them. They gather up thematically all sorts of strands that interweave in the great matrix of the Catholic faith. Continue reading ‘The Epiphany of the Lord January 6, 2010’