As something of a grand finale of Christmas, in our liturgy this whole week is a celebration of the Epiphany! EPIPHANY: a manifestation, a revelation of God.
In these extraordinary revelations of God, we are to be strengthened, we are to have our eyes opened to see how God reveals himself in ordinary ways, to trust that in 2021 He will be with us and show Himself to us when we need Him.
In the Gospels texts for Mass this week we have heard the Lord announce His public ministry, so that we know that truly, the kingdom of God, God’s reign is among us, especially when hatred and evil seem to consume humanity.
He wants each day of our lives to be an Epiphany, to SEE HIM, TO TRUST HIM, TO FOLLOW HIM.
Today Jesus cures a leper. In Jesus’ time Leprosy was not just an illness. A leper was impure, according to the Mosaic Law … so impure that he made anyone around him impure. He was isolated, ostracized from society, alone. Jesus comes close to this leper. He even touches him. He cleanses him and tells him to go to a priest so he can be brought back into the community.
COVID has isolated so many, like leprosy … I find it ironic. In our increasing individualistic society, we have created an increasingly lonely world. So already many were feeling fearful, not knowing how to reach out. Then this disease attacks the whole world, indeed required distancing us to control it, making loneliness really acute. I can’t help but wonder if Satan is mocking us and throwing it in our faces as people’s loneliness is perhaps the worst part of the pandemic. Some many have died alone …
With the help of God, through vaccines may we now begin to leave the pandemic behind. May the Lord guide us, may we call on Him to guide us out of this pandemic, out of loneliness … through an EPIPHANY OF CHRIST’S LOVE, of communion, solidarity, care especially of those most in need.
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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!