The Epiphany of the Lord

Heard on the radio: Do you know what would happen if we had three wise women instead of three wise men? They wouldn’t have ask for directions, they would have arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, clean the stable, made a casserole, bought practical gifts and there would be peace on earth. In the last Top Gear Special the presenters had to travel from Iraq to Bethlehem like the biblical Wise Men, but using modern means. One of their points was buying gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. But they were able to buy gold only; finding the other two gifts was impossible. So, they bought gold, shampoo-like liquid and an electronic gadget.

Today’s gospel speaks about three men, who came from the east to greet baby Jesus. When we look at those three symbolic figures, travelling a long and pretty dangerous way we can find ourselves in them. They had to come a long route to Bethlehem, but that visit wasn’t their final goal. They came, paid homage, left their gifts and then returned home; but – as we heard – they used a different route, not the same one they had come by.

Everyone approached last Christmas in different ways: shopping, making traditional meals, preparing gifts and so on; some of us desperately fought against the weather to reach our Christmas destinations; others tried to stop leaking pipes or battled against odds… All of us made a great effort to have a happy Christmas.

The last Christmas is gone; on Monday or Tuesday most of us will start again our daily routine, children will come back to school. Christmas may leave us with fond memories and more or less wanted presents; but maybe also with empty wallets or credit card debts. Obviously some of us have made New Year’s resolutions to change something in our lives – although most of them might not be successful quite soon, as we know from the past. Sadly, most of our resolutions concern us, touching others just by the way, as a side-effect.

Perhaps we can bring some practical, modern gifts to baby Jesus; something long-lasting and useful for others, even if sometimes a little inconvenient to us. Why not become a regular blood donor? That’s possible this week in the Town Hall. I’ve been giving blood for years and I’m still alive! Why not declare yourself as an organ donor? Just to clarify I don’t mean the musical instrument in our church. Why not become a more active parish member? I would make a longer list, but you’re intelligent and you can find your own way. There is just one, but very important advantage: when I stop thinking about myself and my so-called problems, turning to other people I will lose my negativeness and find instead joy of life. And that’s Christmas.