January 6, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

“Where is one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”(Matthew 2:2)

Many of us have heard of the twelve days of Christmas, but know little about its meaning. It is a season that begins on December 25 and ends on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany (the 12th day). But, my experience is that by the time the end of the Christmas season arrives on the 12th day, we have moved on. The stores have put away the Christmas items and replaced them with Valentine’s Day. What is left to say? Christ is born. The presents are given.

But the church lingers. To whom has Christ been given? The feast of the Epiphany answers that question. It celebrates the arrival of the wise men from the East. They have come to see the king and worship him. What are forei

gners doing looking for a Jewish King? Don’t they have a king of their own? Don’t they have their own nation and culture and customs to occupy their time? The child Jesus bursts the limits of culture. He is not a king of a particular people or a particular time. He is the king of the ages who receives from all the nations of the world their gifts and worship. This is the concluding thought of Christmas. Christ is not ours. He belongs to the world. The feast of Epiphany pushes the church out into the world on mission, a mission to bring the King of the world to the world.

Epiphany means “to show” or “to make known”, and the Feast of the Epiphany reminds us that not only is Christ made known to us, but that He is made known through us, the church. He is made known to the world. We don’t just hear the story, we become part of the story. We are His light and bear His image wherever we go. It isn’t our own light that shines but we are witnesses to the true light, reflecting God’s glory. Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
2018 was a grace-filled year for our Parish Family of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. It was filled with a sacramental life that touched so many, we experienced new growth in new ministries, and we revived and celebrated wonderful parish traditions. My prayer is that in the year of grace 2019, we will ever more joyfully embrace our part of the story to proclaim the presence of Christ that we have discovered in our parish family. May He push us into the world that so desperately seeks His peace as instruments of His mercy and love.

Fr. Pete