Dear friends and parishioners,
I hope you had a joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I can’t believe how quickly January is passing as we are now well into the season of Epiphany. These are the weeks when we think again about some key events in Jesus life. The Feast of the Epiphany itself recounts the visit of the Magi to the Christ-child but we swiftly move on over the following weeks to hear again of Jesus baptism by John in the River Jordan, his calling of the Disciples (Andrew, Simon Peter then James & John) then the miracle of the wedding in Cana when Jesus turned water into fine wine.
Each of the Epiphany readings from the Gospels direct us to a fuller understanding of Jesus identity and mission. At his baptism Jesus aligns himself with sinful humanity rather than standing aloof from it. The calling of the Disciples reflects the divine will that humanity is invited and encouraged to be in a relationship with God and be an active part of God’s plans for the whole of creation. Whilst the miracle at the wedding feast is a clear indication of the power of God at work through Jesus.
At our baptism we align ourselves with Jesus, we become adopted children of God and heirs of his kingdom. We are called to play our part in God’s plan of salvation, acting as the hands and feet of Christ amongst our family, friends and neighbours. This calling may change over the years and adapt to the circumstances of our lives. We need to remain attentive to what these changes might be. As Christians we never ‘retire’ but the way we service God will evolve. Alas, we may not experience the changing of water into wine, but we are assured of the Holy Spirit alongside us. I am sure I am not the only person who feels that God frequently works miracles in my life, helping me to overcome obstacles, make challenging decisions and generally guide me through the ups and downs of daily life.
Ultimately, the season of Epiphany is about the revelation of Jesus to us all. The 17th century mathematician, philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal wrote that instead of complaining that God had hidden himself, we should be thankful that God had revealed so much of Himself. Over the coming weeks may we be eager to encounter those revelations of God in Jesus, the most gracious of all miracles.