Reflections for the Week of Sunday February 7, 2016 Last of Epiphany

Scriptures: Exodus 34.29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3.12-4.2; Luke 9.28-36.
Ex 34 tells of Moses coming from God’s presence bringing the law and how his face shone with holiness. In 2 Cor 3 Paul refers to Moses’ face shining and said the Spirit shines in the face of believers. Ps 99 tells of God’s glory. Lk 9 tells of the transfiguration of Jesus and how His holy nature shone from His body as His divinity was revealed to His disciples.
The Conclusion of the Season of Epiphany
This Sunday brings the liturgical season of Epiphany to a close. With it the combined season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany all come to a close. The great theme of increasing light has characterized them all reaching a climax in the light that shows Christ to the world. We read that in Him “the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (Jn 1.9). He died to make men holy (as the Battle Hymn of the Republic affirms) by bringing them to a personal relationship with God which is why we were created. The divine light cuts across all darkness, prejudice, preconceived ideas, prepackaged values, false expectations, phoniness, and hypocrisy. It presents us with the Truth. To act out of the truth is to make Christ grow not only in ourselves, but in others. Our common life and our daily associations take on sacramental significance. To go on growing spiritually is to be on the cutting edge of the spiritual journey which is the journey each of us pursues as we move toward Christ. We live in a new world that Christ is creating–the new corporate personality of redeemed humanity–a world transcended by and immersed in the divine Mind of the Maker. The world is under the rule of ‘the wicked one’ and is filled with “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. All that is in the world is passing away, and the lust of it” (1 Jn 2.15-17). The world requires flexibility and detachment: the readiness to go anywhere or nowhere, to live or to die, to rest or to work, to be sick or be well, and to take up one service and to put down another. “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world” (Jn 16.33). Three great events took place in Epiphany: The manifestation of the Christ child’s divine nature to the Magi signifies the call to divine union extended to every person in virtue of Christ’s becoming a human being. The manifestation of Jesus’ divine nature by the voice from heaven at His baptism in the Jordan signifies our call to divine union. Each of us is purified by the waters of baptism as we die to our old nature and are prepared for union with God the Son as we take on our new nature. Finally, the manifestation of Jesus’ divine nature to the apostles through the transformation of water into wine at the marriage feast of Cana signifies the consummation of the spiritual marriage of Christ with human nature and with each of us in particular. Epiphany comes to a close with the light of Christ illuminating progressively a dark world. The old Adam with his fallen nature has been over come by God the Son taking on human nature and making it possible for human beings to take on divine nature through Him.
Memory Verse: For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4.6).

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