Ephiphany – A Final Christmas Reflection

(I wrote this for the parish blog last night and it is not as well developed as I might like, but I put it out there and put it out here too. Happy and Blessed Epiphany! I wish you faith, hope and light!)

What a difference! The three kings had only a rumor to go by. But it moved them to make that long journey. The scribes were much better informed, much better versed. They sat and studied the Scriptures like so many dons, but it did not make them move. Who had the more truth? The three kings who followed a rumor, or the scribes who remained sitting with all their knowledge? –Soren Kierkegaard

Thursday January 6 marks the actual date of Epiphany, even though we celebrated it on Sunday. We have such vivid images of the 3 Kings or the magi, yet we don’t really know too much about them.

I am struck by two things on this Epiphany… One is that the real sin in life is despair. The acts of sin and manifestations of them – adultery, killing, stealing, all appear to come out of some kind of despair. I-don’t-have-this-and-I-want-this kind of despair. It means a lack of hope and our faith is about hope if nothing else.

That element of hope is the second thing that strikes me… Out of hope grows faith. Imagine the hope of the magi, their faith. They acted on a hunch and look what happened. I would say that they defied conventional wisdom with their bold act.

It all seems a gamble. Don’t despair. Have hope. Follow the hunch. Nurture your faith, live your faith.

The 3 magi come in at about 2:30 of this video, a little corny but thought provoking nonetheless.

5 thoughts on “Ephiphany – A Final Christmas Reflection

  1. I read this Kierkegaard's comment and really liked his juxtaposition of the learned scribes and the magi who follow a rumor, go with a hunch, with the Spirit… Of course, not being learned gives me hope that I am more like the magi… As to your reflection on despair vs. hope, it reminded me of something I read this morning: "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." Willie NelsonWishing you all the hope in heaven this coming year :-)xoxo


  2. Yes, faith is definitely not going to be acquired solely by learning and rational thought.On despair: I can see where you are coming from but despair as sin is a little more tricky for me to accept entirely. I think despair "could "be a sin if it arises out of wilful arrogance but I would not judge someone as guilty of despair if they were under extreme duress or some sort of mental aberration. It's also how we have changed our stance on suicide now. We don't condemn anyone of a sin if there's a chance that the suicide was influenced by mental illness. I'm also thinking of PTSD and things like that. I think indifference is also something that has the potential to be a sin but I can see how people get their life and vitality sucked out of them too. Positive thinking cannot be enforced and when a person is in a really dark place they really can't be positive !! BlessingsBlessings


  3. Very nicely put and on the money. I don't have my speakers hooked up so I didn't watch the video but I believe it is from The Nativity Story – am I correct? We just watched it again during the holidays. Happy Baptism of the Lord!!


  4. Fran, you know, I've never been as moved by the Epiphany and the Magi as I have this year, and your post moved me even further. I LOVE the quote and am going to keep it. Recently I've been conversing with an atheist. What I have said from the beginning and have not strayed from is that faith must be lived, it must be an experience. Words fail, every time. Experience does not. And of course, this won't do with her, because she must be able to grasp it with her human mind, and one cannot, in the end. So this speaks to me in a powerful way. Thank you!


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