Nine days after the birth of Jesus. The Magi are well into their journey of following the bright star that will lead them to the baby Jesus. In three more days they will celebrate their Epiphany at the manger: Jesus, Emmanuel, “God is with us,” the Christ child revealed.
Thirty years later, Jesus approaches John the Baptist. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus is revealed to John as the Son of God: “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him”
Three days into the new year, 2007. How are your resolutions going? How about your revelations? Any unusually bright objects in the sky to follow? Caught any glimpses of the Holy Spirit descending like a bird? How about Moses’ classic burning bush: stumble upon any combustible plants in this new year?
Sometimes I think The Magi, John the Baptist, and Moses had it easy (at least in terms of recognizing revelation!). How we long to know God’s presence and will with such clarity. If God would only speak to us all the time through celestial anomalies, descending fowl, and burning foliage.
Our Catholic tradition does celebrate the spectacular revelations of God, and our tradition and imagination are just as attentive to the simple and everyday revelations of God’s presence in our world and lives. Sacraments remind us of the potential holiness of water, oil, bread, forgiveness, relationships, and community. This sense of sacramentality calls us to see all of creation as gift, as grace, as God’s love revealed. St. Ignatius talked about the similar idea of “finding God in all things.”
Where is God revealed to me today? My daughter’s hug? My spouse’s health? My co-workers’ concern? My privilege of awareness and ability to speak for the voiceless? Perhaps a helpful New Year’s resolution for me is to mindfully cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in my everyday encounters and activities. “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Revelations of God’s love and presence can be big and small.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook