Benedictine Spirituality Epiphany Gospel Lectio Divina Scripture Uncategorized

Made for joy

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Today’s gospel, the wedding feast at Cana, always reminds me of the Epiphany. Taken with the feasts of Epiphany and the Baptism it out Jesus as Messiah. John tells us:

“This was the first of the signs given by Jesus…He let his glory be seen.

I’m always touched by the mixture ordinary human life and miraculous intervention. On one level the gospel presents a very ordinary story… the embarrassment of running out of wine at a wedding and a disagreement between mother and son. On another level it is one of those moments of revelation when heaven opens and Jesus is declared Messiah. Every time I hear it I’m taken back to Mary Betten’s “People of the Passion”. She imagines a conversation between Jesus and the young bride of Cana. As he takes his leave while she tries to thank him he looks at her and says:

“You are made for joy.”

Their conversation reminds me that we are all made for joy. That doesn’t mean that we won’t suffer or face challenge and pain, but it does suggest that our underlying orientation is towards joy. It seems to me that today’s gospel suggests we look for the joy we’re made for in that mixture of ordinary and miraculous that it portrays. It is in the sometimes messy and challenging mix of daily experiences that we can discover the miraculous truth of Christ’s presence with us. That presence with us, whatever we face is the source of the joy we are created for.

Where do you discover the joy of Christ’s presence in your daily life?

Benedictine Spirituality Christmastide Epiphany Gospel Lectio Divina Scripture Uncategorized

Touched by wonder

Photo by Lightscape on Unsplash

Today we’re celebrating the feast of the Epiphany. It’s beautiful story of the three kings difficult and dangerous journey gives us one last chance to allow the wonder and mystery of the nativity to touch our hearts before we return to “normal” life.

Like so many of our feasts it can get smothered by the practicalities and bustles of daily life. It can end up being no more than the day we pack away the Christmas decorations. If we’re able to take a little time to pause allow the wonder of the Christ child to touch us again it can give us the hope and courage we need to face life’s challenges. Today I’m reflecting on these words form one of our Christmastide hymns:

“Strange kings come riding, treasure laden,
Called from the East, a world unknown:
Let your dull hearts be touched to wonder,
Zion, city of God, his own.”

It captures the essence of Epiphany for me. The strange kings, bringing unexpected treasures and insights calls us to be open to welcoming Christ in the stranger and in the unexpected. But the words that resonate most are:

“Let your dull hearts be touched to wonder.”

It seems to me that the challenges and uncertainties of daily life can cause our hearts to become dull and heavy. That, in turn, makes it hard for us to reflect the light and wonder of Christ. Epiphany gives us a space to allow that wonder to lodge in our hearts and to shed light and hope in our lives.

What is touching your heart to wonder today?