Saturday, January 01, 2011

Homily for the Epiphany

The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. (Matthew 2:11)

There are those who regret that we are celebrating Epiphany this weekend, rather than on 6th January. And I have some sympathy with this point of view. After all, whatever happened to the twelve days of Christmas, and twelfth night itself? And when should we take the decorations down? And aren’t we making it all too easy for people?

But on the other hand, what a wonderful way this is to begin the calendar year - what a tremendous feast to celebrate all together at the weekend, rather than with a relative few on a weekday.
Here we have the visit of the Magi, the Kings, to the newborn child’s first earthly home. It is obvious that this is the feast when we should bless our own homes.
Here is a day when these strange travellers recognised the presence of God in the human home - “and falling to their knees they did him homage”.
Last weekend we recognised the importance of the Family - this weekend it is the Home. And just as every group of Christians needs a place to worship, so every family needs a home. We even recognise this as a basic human right.
Home is where we learn. Home is where we love. Home is where we pray.
Too often we consign faith to the Church building, and the practice of faith to the clergy and those who assist them. But Faith begins and thrives at home. If our prayer at home is weak, if our expression of faith at home is half-hearted, if our moral values at home are ambiguous, then do not expect any better anywhere else.
The Home where God blesses and inspires us. The Home is where the Faith is first taught to us, and the Home is where our faith is lived.

God bless our homes!

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