02/01/2011

02/01/2011

St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com

www.stjohnevang.co.uk

www.lpa24.org

0151 645 3314

Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

Feast of Epiphany 2nd January 2011

FAITH IN FOCUS: MODERN-DAY MAGI

The Epiphany is the feast of the catholicity of the Church. This means that the Church is for everyone, in all places and at all times. The opposite of catholic is exclusive. But the Church is not exclusive; it’s all embracing and catholic. We don’t stand like nightclub bouncers at our church entrances, deciding on who should be let in and who should be excluded. We stand there to welcome in anyone of any race, colour or creed who wants to know more about Jesus Christ, the God who became one of us. And so the wise men entered the stable at Bethlehem at the end of their star-led journey to find this new king and to pay him homage. The Magi from the East show that Christ’s message was not just for the neighbours, but for the ends of the earth. Epiphany is Christ’s manifestation to the whole world, far and wide.

You and I are called on today to be both stars and wise men. It was a star that led the Magi to know where to find Jesus. In a world that seems so often to flounder in a sea of darkness we are called to shine, to shed our light on the difficult task of making sense of life. We are to offer the wisdom of God to a world that seeks true meaning.

We must presume that, when the Magi left, they returned home to tell other people about what they had seen and heard. It would be pointless to keep it to themselves. So too with us. We cannot leave it to those with theology degrees to let the world know what a difference believing in Jesus makes. We must be Magi, wise men and women.

A simple test of how we are doing as Magi in the 21st century is to ask ourselves how many people we brought to Christ last year. What sort of advert are we for Christianity? Are we ashamed of the Good News or proud to let others know how much it means to us? And at the end of this New Year how many people will we have led to Jesus by the light of the way we live?

WORD FOR TODAY

Today marks the last event in the Christmas story. The arrival of the wise men represents the flowering of God’s plan as people from East and West come to know of the wonders God works in the birth of Jesus. As we finally pack away the Christmas decorations our challenge is to keep the hope of new life alive in our hearts and minds.

WORD OF GOD

Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears. The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness. (Isaiah 60:2-3)

RESOLUTIONS

Pope St Sylvester’s feast (December 31st) is the traditional date for making New Year’s resolutions. We all know that most of our resolutions go by the board after a few days or weeks, mainly because we forget about them. Here are two simple resolutions that can improve your life and are easy to remember.

The first is to pick a date, the same in every month, and make it a “Complaint Fast”. So, pick a day, for example, the 1st day of each month, and make a positive effort to go through the whole day without moaning. Fast from being negative. In addition, try to find three opportunities during the day to be as complimentary as you can about people or circumstances rather than saying things that are simply demoralising.

The second resolution is to “listen for sirens”. Whenever you hear an ambulance passing by say a little prayer for the person involved. The same goes for police cars and fire engines. Everyone is our neighbour and when others are in trouble then it is our chance to bring them before God. Have a happy New Year!

JANUARY 2011
General Intention: That the riches of creation be preserved, valued and made available to all, as precious gifts from God to mankind.

Missionary Intention: That Christians may achieve full unity, bearing witness of the universal fatherhood of God to the entire human race.

 

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