Epiphany Of The Lord Reflection: Gifts For Today
(Mt 2:1-12 – The Visit of the Magi) – The great revelation begins with local shepherds, unschooled and uninformed, far from the centres of information and influence. Swiftly it moves on to the arrival of foreigners, Zoroastrians, Persians and Medes, astrologers, dream interpreters, and mystics. Here we see the forgotten gifts of ‘presence and acknowledgement’ added to the worldly gifts signifying wisdom, holy speech, and humility.
These are forgotten gifts now little treasured. We live in a world filled with mystery and paradox. Life, death, love, suffering, and even time itself, move within our consciousness without having any apparent need for our cooperation, classification, or consent. The attempts at manipulations of these realities lead to pride, disappointment, dissatisfaction, and cynicism.
This desire for control is at the root of fear that fuels our paranoia, and that appetite for bad news. When paranoia grips our leaders, it is like a creeping pandemic that quickly consumes every strand of daily life. So it was at the time of Herod’ paranoia had spread to the population of Jerusalem. A pandemic of fear and paranoia is spreading around the world. This is the antithesis of the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ that has at its heart a call to ‘metanoia’, the opposite of this world’s ‘paranoia’.
The contemplative practice of the mystic brings us into a direct awareness of presence, acknowledging the sacredness and beauty of all creation and of every being that shares in God’s great ‘I Am’. Creation and being are the gifts of God and so we recognise that each one of us is called to be gifts to each other, as we are also called to be gifts to creation and all beings. It is not our cleverness, our learning, our achievements, or our status in society that give us this intrinsic human dignity.
The Magi and their gifts point us ever deeper into the revelation of the human face of God and the divine face of humanity. The revelation of Love incarnated. This is the wonderful divine imagination in which we, all the little ones, all the forgotten ones, all the untouchables, all the displaced, and all the despised, have our being.
The contemplative way of our mystic calling reflects a response, entering into communion with all these ‘others’. It is the call that emanates from the inner depths of our being, coming to recognise ourselves in the face of the other. Incarnated into the Jesus event, we come to recognise the sacred nature of all creation. It is from this recognition that compassion, mercy, and forgiveness taught by Jesus as ‘The Way’, becomes a surprising reality.
The contemplative practice of the mystic brings us into a direct awareness of presence, acknowledging the sacredness and beauty of creation and of every being that shares in Gods’ great ‘I Am’. Creation and being are the gifts of God and so we recognise that each one of us are called to be gifts also to each other as we are also called to be gifts to creation and all beings.
Through the Incarnation, the reflection of this intrinsic dignity becomes visible. It is there for us to behold when we bring our awareness within this presence. Yet it is always a surprising gift that astounds and amazes.
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