Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Gift for the Child

In many countries today, not Christmas, is the day when presents are exchanged, as we recall the visit of the Magi who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  We raises the question, what will we give.

In the early Church long before there were divisions Christians sought a way to give their lives totally in imitation of Jesus, and so the hermetical/monastic life was born. Religious, as we call them today, continue to make that total donation of self through the vows of poverty (all that I own), chastity (my most intimate self), and obedience (my will). It is this total donation of self that sets them apart from the rest of us.  Even secular clergy, like myself, maintain ownership belongs. My clothes, my car, etc. are all mine to with as I will. This is why the Church still considers the calling to the religious life a hight calling.

Today we pray for all those who are discerning whether to make that great leap of faith and enter religious life. We pray that men and women will have the courage to make this total donation of self to God.

But what about the rest of us.  How will we give ourselves more fully on this Solemnity of the Epiphany?  Firstly, I would suggest that each of us should in some manageable way dedicate ourself more to prayer and meditation. I say manageable because this is the time of year when people make grand unrealistic new year's resolutions that fall apart by March.

Secondly, the most valuable gift you can offer is your time.  I know of no parish that has too many volunteers. In most parishes the same small group of people end up doing everything. Most of us do not have cofres of gold, frankincense, and myrrh; but we have our lives, our time, our talents given to us by God. In imitation of the magi, perhaps it is time for us to take ourselves to our local church kneel before the king and offer up what we have.