Sunday, 4 January 2009

The epiphany (Mt 2:1-12)

It is the start of the New Year, and as I mentioned in one of my last posts before Christmas I intent to start posting a bit more regular. During the last week I have been home in the Netherlands, I have met some interesting people and got a lot of food for thought. The experiences of the last few days really strengthened my conviction that we have to help other find and to make Christianity relevant to their lives, and as such I will soon start to try and center my reflections on this topic...

Today the feast of the Epiphany was celebrated, the revelation of Christ to the three wise men, who came in search for him. It is the same with us in our lives, as every human being has in some shape or form a star shining pointing towards Jesus, pointing towards the fullness of life. It is only in Jesus that we find true happiness, and therefore we have to show Christ to others to bring them also to this fullness. More and more people do not realise that the star is pointing to a fuller way of life, especially if there is a difficult journey is to be traveled before coming to the full realisation of the joy and peace we experience deep down in our soul and the sense everything makes once we find and come to know Him.

Religion without Jesus at the center and as its aim is empty. In my opinion, this is sadly the case for a lot of (Christian) people these days. That is why it is important to help others to deepen their personal relation with Christ, and to show that knowing Him is relevant and important to find true happiness. Being part of a church community is not the end in itself, it is the help that points beyond itself and to Jesus.

We also continually have to keep in mind that we have to follow the star ourselves to find Christ, and over and over again invite him back into our lives. A relation is never something static, it a continual dynamic process and Christ has to be at the center of our lives all the time. It is only by knowing Jesus intimately that we can bring Him to others. As I often say, we cannot give what we do not have. We have to know the love of Him so His love will radiate through us and enlightens others with its light.

Finally, I think that we have to realise that the way our lives go are not always according to a straight path. We can read in the Gospel that the wise men followed the star guiding them, but then they had to make a detour through Jerusalem before they got on the right path again and the direction became clear again. Sometimes our lives can be like that, sometimes we take a bit of a detour, but as long as we keep Jesus at the center of our lives we can trust we will find the star that is guiding us...

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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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