Sunday, 5 January 2014
We were discussing the significance of today’s Solemnity at our coffee morning this morning while celebrating the fact that this is the day when the God-man was revealed to us, the gentile nations...
We noted that in many places this is the day when Christmas gifts are exchanged, recalling not only the gifts of the Magi, but the greater gift of the Incarnate Son of God bringing us the gift of eternal life through the forgiveness of our sins.
We agreed that although we hear it every year, it is true that the Magi’s gifts are teaching aids for us, symbolising as they do Christ’s Person and His Mission: the gold symbolising His Kingship; the frankincense His Divinity, and the myrrh His death. We realised though, that we are not called to give any of these to God today, though the parish needs our gifts of gold (money) so that we can pay for our heating, lighting, Insurance, Council Tax, building repairs, office supplies -and our pastor’s allowance!) What God seeks from us is our hearts; our lives given over to Him in loving obedience.
Father Dickson had reminded us this evening that at every Mass we attend we get an ‘epiphany moment’; primarily in the Consecration when God reveals His Presence to us by His words and actions in the person of His priest. There is also, however, the Offertory Procession; that movement in the Mass when we hand over our lives to God with the gifts of bread and wine. It seems to us that this procession was not returned to the Rite of Mass simply to get the congregation actively doing something; rather, but to symbolise our self-offering. After all, none of the actions we perform at Mass are empty ritual; they all have a meaning, and it would a sad loss to miss out on the liturgical opportunity to offer our lives at the Offertory.
We were clear that we should be full of thanksgiving to God for His Incarnation; for His self-revelation to the gentiles and for His saving Mission, offering ourselves to Him who gave Himself for us, that we might find in Him eternal life, light, happiness and peace.