What can I wish you in this New Year? The first Sunday of the New Year is the Solemnity of the Epiphany. On this feast we commemorate the revelation of Jesus to the entire world through the mysterious visit of the three kings, or wise men. The Church sees in these mysterious figures from the East a recognition of non-Jewish encounter with a God who was, until that point, only known by the Jews. In short, we believe that Jesus came to all peoples, as everyone has a need to know and love God. Jesus is born for the benefit of all humanity. My wishes for all of us this New Year are that we be more like the three kings who sought out the child Jesus and visited with Him.
First, I wish you and me the gift of humility. The three Kings had to have the gift of humility to bow down before this small child and acknowledge Him as a newborn King. We don’t often expect the rich and powerful to operate with this kind of humility, but the three kings from the East show us that it is possible even for the powerful and wealthy to be humble.
Secondly, I wish you and me the gift of generosity. The three Kings offer expensive gifts to the child Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Our lives become much more beautiful and meaningful when we challenge ourselves to be generous with others. Generosity stretches us to stop living just for ourselves and start living for others.
And thirdly, I wish you and me the gift of perseverance. It would have taken much perseverance for the three kings to endure the long journey in search of this newborn King. Perseverance is so necessary for us who wish to follow Jesus in a world filled with doubt and rejection of God. Keeping our eyes on Jesus who is our one goal in life will help us to arrive at our destination and not be distracted by the challenges along the way.
So, in this New Year, may we all grow in the gifts of humility, generosity, and perseverance. God bless you!