Sunday, January 7, 2018

We are children of the light

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” — Alan Watts.

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

Last week Jesus’s 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 the feasts of the Holy Family and Epiphany. The whole idea of presenting a child to God is not some pretty little ritual or Kodak moment.

This is serious!

Parents give their child to God; they dedicate their child to grow as God’s child, as a holy child. They shape and form their faith.

Parents will educate, foster self-respect, model wholesome familial and social interaction, be the best models of faith, and provide both caring and tough love to their children.

They will not be afraid of the word “no.” Parents will always teach the consequences for one’s actions. This child will know love, how to survive, know who they are and will contribute generously to making this a better world.

The light has come! Epiphany!

This light drew the Gentiles to 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, hate and fear.

What powerful and controlling king wouldn’t want to stomp out a new power of love, peace, 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.

We are children of the light. What will it be for my and my family: light or darkness?

Who do I present my child to: God, or the world of greed, profit, materialism, mindless pleasure and no 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; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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