Sunday, January 4, 2015

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

The feast of the Holy Family and today’s celebration of Epiphany are closely connected – in the person of Jesus.

Last week, his parents presented him to God. This week, he is being sought after by king Herod, supposedly so that Herod could show him homage; however, we know the darker designs, and all of the babies under 2 years of age in Bethlehem discovered those designs as well.

The deeper connection for us and for our families lies precisely in the connection of these two feasts. The whole idea of presenting a child to God is not some pretty little ritual or picture-taking moment. This is serious!

We (parents) give our child to you (God)! We dedicate our child to grow as your child, as a holy child. We will shape and form his or her faith. We will educate, foster self-respect, model wholesome familial and social interaction, be the best models of faith, and provide both caring and tough love.

We will not be afraid of the "no" word. We will always teach consequences for one’s actions. This child will know love, how to survive, know who he or she is and will contribute generously to making this a better world.

The light has come. Epiphany.

This light drew the Gentiles to the greatest happening — the birth of Jesus. They recognized who he was and that he had a mission and significance as bright as the star that led them to him. Even king Herod was afraid, because truth and love would replace lies and hate and fear. What king of power and control wouldn’t want to stomp out a new power of love and peace and justice and goodness?

Epiphany proclaims this new light in the person of Jesus Christ. Epiphany is the light that calls us to recognize our Lord. Epiphany is the revelation of the eternal truth inviting us to participate in it as never before. Indeed, we are children of the light.

What will it be for me and my family? Light or darkness? Who do I present my child to? God or the world of greed, profit, materialism, mindless pleasure and zero values?

God, take me. God, take my child. God, take my family. God, take my future. God, take this world.

We present all to you. Give us your light.

Be our Epiphany today – the revelation of you in our lives.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

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