I just read my post from yesterday to refresh my memory of what I said or didn’t say about Epiphany. As it happens, I think that post turned out to be a bit of an example of the meaning of the word. As celebrated in Christianity, the Epiphany is the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles represented by the Magi: a moment of great revelation. In a modern dictionary definition it is seen as “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.”
I was talking yesterday about the possibility of overcoming fear through simple, commonplace practices of eating, walking and talking to a friend. It isn’t the practices themselves, however, that overcome the fear. It is rather our recognition of our ability to achieve success in those things that gives us new confidence in facing what frightens or stops us.
It is all well and good for us to celebrate the revelation of Jesus to the larger world 2000 years ago but that revelation is only “activated” in our day if something related to the event is triggered in our lives. If we consider the most important lessons we have learned from the life of Christ, which I believe to be universal love and compassion, it would seem that our job is to manifest the reality of those lessons in our daily lives.
What does love of neighbor mean in 2018? How are we able to practice compassion when we see a need – either spiritual or physical? It takes keeping our hearts open and, yes, “eating our vegetables” to push us beyond our limits – one step at a time.