The Epiphany of The Lord 8 January 2023

Violence, all forms of violence including war, have unintended consequences.

After such acts, even being hit by a cricket ball, you will hear “Sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you”.

On this Traditional Orthodox Feast of Christmas for those following the Julian Calendar, which we, following the Gregorian calendar call Epiphany, are living through a major rift in traditional celebrations of the Birth of Christ.

The offer of a 36 hour truce in the war between Russia and Ukraine has been greeted with scepticism by most of the world…as reported by the press. Herod in today’s reading said he, too, wished to pay homage to the new King, but the same reporters chronicled the massacre of the innocents. The King must be the King! The peace promised by the Angels, to people of good will, is crushed again before our eyes. The memory of Herod and his actions lives!

Whatever this happening, you and I are called to be builders of peace by being people who work for justice…justice within our families, in our workplaces, in our society, in our Church.

That justice begins, as the Magi teach, by first acknowledging the Prince of Peace and doing homage. Earthly kings can wait; our God is first.

Then we present our gifts; symbols of homage but also acknowledging our relationship, creature to creator.

The trifecta is complete when we, too, leave the presence and in obedience to the voice, go back to our home by another way and do things differently.

We should be different and be better people for having worshipped and paid homage to the living God.

During this past week, I came across a sign on a school, “Happiness through achievement”. It made me ponder. What about being a seeker of the truth, or a giving person or a loving person?

Herod was called Great because of his “achievements” but wrecked his life and reputation. The Magi, unknown, are still a sign that God came for all people.

Our happiness will come if we follow their example.

Mons Frank