January 6, 2019

Friends,

This weekends feast is called Epiphany but many older Catholics refer to it as “Little Christmas "and it was looked upon as the end of the Christmas season. In fact, we used to take down our Christmas decorations, cards, and the manger on that day. The word “Epiphany” means manifestation and it was considered to be the time when the Three Kings arrived at the stable and highlighted Christ’s becoming known to the outside world.

In some cultures this feast day is equal to if not greater than Christmas itself. I have not been to the LaSalette Shrine in Attleboro for years but when I returned a few years ago the focus of my attention was the huge area where they have on display mangers scenes from around the world. I was overwhelmed by the experience of realizing how creative various cultures are when they create and display their version of the birth of Christ. What came across loud and clear was that we see God as we see ourselves and vice versa. These cribs and figures were made from wood, glass, porcelain, metal, paper, and plastic. They were as small as an eggshell and some took up an entire table. What really grabbed my attention was that each nationality had figures that reflected their own features. So I was seeing Christ for the first time through other’s eyes. I was forced to realize that all my life I had experienced God as a Caucasian and had been very comfortable with Jesus being presented as a Caucasian.

That day I began to broaden my horizons as I had my mind and heart opened and asked myself “why wouldn’t everyone else see God and Christ as reflections of themselves”? The words from the following song “Some Children See Him” captures my thoughts that day and ever since.

“ Some children see him lily white, The Baby Jesus born this night,

Some children see his lily white with tresses soft and fair.

Some children see him bronzed and brown, The Lord of heaven to earth came down,

Some children see him bronzed and brown, with dark and heavy hair.

Some children see him almond eyed, this Savior whom we kneel beside,

Some children see him almond eyed with skin of yellow hue.

Some children see him dark as they, sweet Mary’s son to whom we pray,

Some children see him dark as they, and oh! They love him too.”
 

Plenty to think about as we bring the Christmas season to a close.

Enjoy Life!

Father Coyne

 

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