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posted 6 Jan 2020, 05:00 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London   [ updated 6 Jan 2020, 05:01 ]
The Wise Men show us the way…

Firstly, warmest congratulations to Fr Ephrem and the Eritrean Gheez Rite community who this week celebrate Christmas, which comes 2 weeks later in their calendar. Just as they begin their Christmas celebrations so we are coming towards the end of ours – firstly with the feast of the Epiphany this weekend and then the Baptism of the Lord next Sunday.

‘Epiphany’ means the revelation of something which had previously been hidden. What had been hidden? So far in our reflections on the wonders of that Bethlehem night we have focused on the humanity of Jesus – the extraordinary truth that the eternal and almighty God could not only become human but that he chose to do so in the most vulnerable of ways, as a baby born into a poor family behind the village pub! As babies do, Jesus gurgled and dribbled, had ten tiny toes, chubby cheeks and soft hair. He was truly human in all ways (except sin). However at the Epiphany we celebrate the divinity of Jesus. The Wise Men show this by kneeling before the Baby King with their precious gifts. These are strange gifts for a new born baby, but they point forward to his future mission. The gold is a symbol of kingship, for he has come into the world to build the Kingdom of God; the frankincense reveals his priestly identity – just as the priest offers incense in prayer to God, so Jesus will offer himself to reconcile God and humanity; and finally myrrh would be used at a burial to anoint the body, thus showing how Jesus will bring salvation – through his own death/resurrection.

And this is not just all about Jesus, it’s also about us! God became one of us so that we could become one with God, or, we could even say, that we could become like God. This is the gift of baptism – that God’s own life enters into our individual lives. So in us there is this same mixture of humanity and divinity. This is why every human life is precious, because as humans we contain within us something of God’s own life. So let’s continue the mission of Christmas – to love and cherish each other, especially, like the baby Jesus, the most vulnerable and powerless members of our society.

With blessings & prayers from Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem & the parish team.