The Epiphany: Journey’s End or the Start of a New Life in Christ?

Sunday 7th January 2024

Today we celebrate the solemnity of The Epiphany – the feast that marks the visit of The Magi and the end of the 12 days of Christmas.

But as the decorations come down and we prepare to return to everyday life, we take one more look at the celebration of The Nativity and how the feast of the three kings can help us keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the year.

Let God surprise you!

The Wise Men made their way to Herod’s palace in search of the new King of the Jews. Expecting grandeur and majesty, their quest reached its fulfilment not in the splendour of a royal palace, but kneeling in the hay before an infant lying in the manger of a humble dwelling.

How many times has God surprised you in the past? How many times have you encountered Him somewhere or in someone you didn’t expect? There is no limit to the ways in which God can reach out to us, and He can often communicate in ways we least expect. So, this New Year, we invite you to let go of your expectations, to open your mind to all the ways God might be trying to speak to you, and to let yourselves be surprised!

Give your heart

The Three Kings arrived bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, pointing to Christ as king, priest, and sacrifice. However, the most precious gift was the very presence of The Magi themselves, the journey they undertook to be there, and their humble homage before a new-born baby.

The Incarnation is the start of the ultimate act of love; God Himself becoming man, sharing in our humanity so that we could share in His divinity through His life, death, and resurrection. All He asks for in return is our hearts and our humble devotion to seeking a life lived with Him.

“And they returned to their country by another route.”

Throughout the Advent season, we too have been on a journey that has led us to the manger. But what next? Do we go back to the same old life as before?

Once again, we follow in the footsteps of The Magi and prepare to journey on “by another route”. As we begin a New Year, it’s the perfect opportunity to think of the future, any changes we’d like to make to our lives, new challenges to embrace, or certain habits we’d like to move away from.

This year, why not make that change in your faith life? Whether that’s trying a new way of praying, dedicating more time to prayer, or embracing the graces of regular confession.

To help you get started, we’ve found one or two things you might like to explore:

Regular Retreat Programme

Go on pilgrimage to Walsingham or Lourdes

Begin or join a parish prayer group, like this one at Sacred Heart in Rochdale

Pray as you go

Pray The Rosary daily

Bible in a Year

Catechism in a Year

Of course, we cannot do this on our own, so we ask for God’s grace and the intercession of Our Lady as we move forward into a renewed life in Christ as we pray: Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.

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Tagged | Advent | Catholic Church | Christmas

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