“They opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way…”
These are the last lines from Gospel on the Feast of Epiphany from Matthew Chapter 2:11-12.
This journey of the Magi to Jesus is also our story and our journey. The journey of the Magi was difficult and took a long time. Our journey began at the moment of conception in our mother’s womb and soon after our journey of faith began at baptism.
In reality we are all on our way to Jesus when we will pass from this life to the next. It is in this journey of life and faith we must come to realize that all we have and are is a gift from God.
Even though we do not always realize it, in our lives God has blessed each of us with unique gifts, talents and abilities. We are on a journey with Jesus and to Jesus with all these gifts, talents and abilities. Throughout our life God wants us to discover and develop these gifts, talents and abilities for His Glory and His Kingdom.
Epiphany means to manifest or reveal. Jesus wants to reveal Himself to us as we discover and develop these gifts, talents and abilities that God the Father has bestowed upon us throughout our life.
God trusts us with these gifts, talents and abilities during our life and faith journey. Do you realize that God trusts you? Do you realize that God trusts you with the gifts, talents and abilities that you have been blessed with?
That is something that we need to pray over and contemplate regularly. God has trusted us. Do we trust God?
Recall a time when you were younger and your mom and dad entrusted you to do something.
One example, when we were allowed to drive the family car for the first time. Probably for many of us it began with one of our parents in the passenger seat and guiding us on an old country road. Many of us farm kids remember going out to a wide open field where we couldn’t destroy anything.
Then came the day when we could drive to town without mom or dad in the passenger seat. We were excited, but also a bit fearful. We certainly wanted to have fun but also arrive home safely with the car in one piece. Our parents trusted us even though they probably were worried and prayed until we arrived home safely.
How true it is for us with our life and that God trusts us on this earth for a brief time trusting us with these gifts, talents and abilities.
Again consider the Magi, the camels they traveled on, the gifts they brought to Jesus, their very lives were not theirs to begin with. God trusted them to the Magi ever so briefly. The result was the Magi gave glory to God with what was entrusted to them. From the last line of the Gospel on the Feast of Epiphany “they departed for their country by another way.” For the Magi their life changed once they realized who Jesus was, their life changed forever.
Once we realize who Jesus is in our life, our life will change, we will look at things differently.
There is great relief knowing that we are here for a reason and purpose. We are here for God’s reason and purpose. By God’s Grace we come to know that our Father in heaven has a plan for us and has entrusted us with gifts, talents and abilities for the glory and honor of His Kingdom.
St. Francis De Sales offers us some wisdom through the following statement. “Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me but in me and I in Him.”
Father John Short is pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, Mitchell and along with Fathers James Morgan and John Fischer, is serving as a priest director to the 2018 Catholic Family Sharing Appeal.
Photo is of Father John Short