Revealed at home; revealed in the world

all-kinds-doorsNow that New Year’s has arrived our greeting is “Happy New Year.” In the days before December 25th we greeted each other with “Merry Christmas.” Did  you know that the Christmas season begins with the Christmas Eve masses and then moves through Holy Family Sunday, the Solemnity of the Epiphany, and continues to include the Baptism of the Lord – which we will celebrate next weekend.

Christmas through the Baptism of the Lord is all part of one season,  when the church is of one mind – to proclaim that born unto us is a savior – and then to begin to unpack what that will mean for us. The birth is celebrated at the Christmas masses, but the meaning is revealed in the celebrations that follow.  It is all connected. It is all of one voice.

But with Christmas, visitors, parties, football games, New Year’s celebration, and the deep sigh before starting work, school, and all the good and true things of our lives – with all those things, it is sometimes hard to hear the one voice of the Christmas season. The still small voice that ever speaks to the world.

Last weekend my homily for the Feast of the Holy Family pointed to Pope Francis’ status as Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.” I noted that a recent Pew/Annenberg poll showed that 80% of all Americans are positive towards the Pope – and most are aware that he has not changed doctrine or teaching about many tough issues of modern life – and yet he is making the world feel the welcome of the church. Why? I think it is because he simply meets people where they are – and people experienced the words from last week’s reading out of Colossians: “heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another.” (Col 3:12-13)

I went on to say these things are what the coming of the Christ child promises, what St Paul will ask of believers, and what Pope Francis models for us. Then I posed the question: heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience – are we as family members holding these out to one another? Are those virtues revealed within our families?

What is revealed in Christ to his Holy Family is to be lived out in our families. Listen again to that still small voice: “Put on, ….heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, …And over all these put on love.” Go do all these things, “put them on,” even when you have no inner peace, anger is bubbling up, and you are about to say that next thing you know you will regret, and know you shouldn’t. Because it is in that moment, when your inner self is in chaos, that your words, your hands, your expression can put on compassion, kindness, patience, and more.

Funny thing is that those virtues enacted in the world have their own way of working their from your hands, thru the arms, back into your heart.  Revealing the peace, love, kindness, compassion, patience and humility of Christ to you.

I point back to last week’s homily because I think what is revealed there is connected this week. In fact “to reveal, to make manifest”  – that is the meaning of the word “Epiphany.”  If the voice of last week’s readings of the Christmas season are asking us to put on the virtues of Christ, to try them out and practice them in the cauldron know as family life, then this week there is a similar message: live them out in the world. Listen again to the world of the Prophet Isaiah:

Rise up in splendor …Your light has come,

Rise up, move into the world. The Lord will light you way – be the lamp unto your path

the glory of the Lord shines upon you

Let the glory of God shine through your words, actions, your manner of life

See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples;

Because it is a light and a glory the world needs in times when the darkness seems to be gaining

but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory

When the world sometimes rejects you and seems to defeat you, the Lord continues to shine on and through you. “The glory of God is the human person fully alive!”

Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance

Because the desire of God is to light not just your way, but the way of the whole world – the way of paupers and kings alike

Raise your eyes and look about

The people of God are also your family. Warts and all.  We are uniquely loved by God. Look about – see the beauty of what God has created.

The shepherd in their fields rose up from their fields and proclaimed all that they had seen and heard. The actions of their lives revealed Christ among us.

The Magi came rose up from their lands and came to give homage to the King of Kings. The actions of their lives revealed Christ among us

This is our time and place. Rise up in splendor, our light has come. Let the actions of our lives be to Put on, ….heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, …And over all these put on love.”  Take these virtues from your family to the world that nations may walk in the Light because your life reveals Christ.

Raise up your eyes, look about. The world waits for, the world needs what your life will reveal.

Amen.

5 thoughts on “Revealed at home; revealed in the world

  1. Put on, ….heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, …And over all these put on love.”

    These words are lovely! It makes you wonder sometimes about the “feeling of Christmas,” that surrounds us. With the the anticipation of Christmas, sometimes I feel after the Christmas season ends that on some levels we let go of that beauty of Christmas. May the Christ Child always live in our hearts and may we continue to share “the beauty of Christmas” every day of our lives!

    Thank you for your blog entry. Whenever I get a chance to come here and read what you’ve written, I always come away with something that is uplifting!

  2. Pingback: Still continues … A Revelation | The Seeker

  3. That’s interesting to hear the the Baptism of Jesus is part and parcel of Christmas. I thought today is the twelfth and last day based on what I heard from the church last week. Hmmm… interesting. I ask the priest in our parish. Happy Epiphany.

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