Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ongoing Epiphanies

January 6 has traditionally been the Feast of the Epiphany, although this year it was celebrated on January 2 in the Roman Catholic Church. The story of the three Magi coming to Bethlehem to see the Christ Child is a beloved one and carries with it much color and drama. The first visitors to the baby Jesus were lowly shepherds while the last visitors we hear about were “kings.” In between, I suspect, there were other visitors---probably small shopkeepers, assorted housewives and curious children. Babies are crowd pleasers.

On January 6, 1946, Pope Pius XII published his encyclical -- Quemadmodum --
which was a plea for the care of the world’s destitute children. He pointed out the millions of innocent children (post-WWII) without the basic necessities of life: home, food, clothing, etc.
How fitting that this encyclical came out on the feast of the Epiphany, featuring gift-bearers bringing a child precious offerings, not least being gold…which surely Mary and Joseph would have used to care for Jesus and to establish their family home.

Hard times can bring out the worst and the best in people. Thankfully, the generous-hearted are always with us and we in the monastery have certainly benefited and continue to benefit from their gifts.

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