Epiphany: God Does All the Work

Magi or Three Kings

This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany—that day when Jesus Christ was revealed to the world as represented by the Magi. In the Eastern Tradition, the epiphany or theophany (revelation) to the Magi is seen as one of four “manifestations” of Jesus to the world: the Nativity, the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus, and the Wedding Feast at Cana. In all four of these manifestations, Jesus’ identity and mission are revealed to a wider audience.

What do all of these manifestations have in common? God does “all” the work! I put “all” in quotation marks because we human beings have to do the work of receiving. Joseph and Mary worked hard to welcome Jesus into the world. The Magi traveled great distances to welcome the newborn king. John the Baptist waded into the waters of the Jordan to meet Jesus and baptize him. The stewards filled large containers with water and distributed it to the people, only to discover that the liquid was fine wine. So, yes, we people do work with God—but the initiative is from God and the power is from God.

As we celebrate this season of epiphanies, we catechists can help those we teach to recognize how God is revealing himself in our own lives (“finding God in all things“) and to remember that we can do nothing to make God reveal himself to us. God is already doing that. Our job is to say yes to God’s initiative; to open our eyes to the great epiphanies going on around us; to journey to those places in life where God’s presence is being manifested; and to allow ourselves to be filled up with the living waters of Jesus and allow ourselves to be transformed so that we live under the influence of Jesus and share that most excellent vintage with others!

About Joe Paprocki 2146 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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