Epiphany of the Lord – Today’s Gospel Reading – Matt: 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then 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.
Commentary on the Epiphany – What Do I Bring?
After going through a divorce or other traumatic experience, your confidence may be shaken. You may be feeling worthless or wonder why you were not good enough.
When my husband left, I read every “how to save your marriage” book I could get my hands on. I was 5 months into a surprise pregnancy and had been having complications. The books all said, “Look your best. Be sexy.” I tried, but it’s hard to be sexy when you are you at 5 months pregnant and very ill.
The books said, “Many husbands say their wives haven’t tried anything new in years.” About 2 years before he left, I had begun my own part time SAT Prep business and 9 months before had became Youth Minister of our parish. Within 6 weeks of his leaving, I had applied to get my teaching license updated, had taught myself enough math to receive math credits without paying for class through CLEP tests, and had registered for classes to take in person and online. Nothing was good enough.
I literally and physicallly shook for months and the feeling of not being good enough was almost overwhelming. Why was I not good enough? What did that other woman have that I did not? Why was she so much better than me? and back to WHY WAS I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
I felt like a loser and knew, yes I KNEW, I was not good enough. I was dealing with rejection and pregnancy and postpartum hormones. My head was spinning and everything hurt. Part of me wanted to just die. I think a part of me did.
But I kept asking God (some days more politely than others) for help. It took a long time to realize that it was not about my husband or the other woman. It was about me and my ability to recognize the gifts God had given me.
I received my 7-12 math license attaining 56 credits in less than 2 years while having a newborn and four other boys, moving out of our home as it approached foreclosure, working part time, and going through an unwanted divorce.
But I still wondered if I was good enough?
Nothing I did was enough. I still felt fat, ugly, stupid.
The Gift of Faith
And then I realized the question what do I bring to any relationship could only be compared to the relationship I could bring to Jesus. The only real offering the drummer boy, the shepherds,and even the Magi could bring to the Christ Child was their faith.
Something to Think About:
We may not have the ability to give as the wise men did, but each of us can give the gift of faith and that is really all God asks of us. If you give your faith to God day in and day out, he will provide you with hope and love as well. Faith gives you the ability to deal with all circumstances and to eventually give the gifts of hope and love. Can there be any gifts greater than these?
You were given the ability to give faith, but it is a gift you must continuously ask for in order to give. How are you honoring God with your gift of faith? Do not deny God’s greatness by thinking you have nothing to offer. Your gift of faith is enough. Give it to him second by second.
Sunday posts provide a copy of the Sunday Gospel and my unschooled take on it as a faithful, but human, single mother of 5 boys.