Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Genesis, Chapter 26, Verse 24
The same night the LORD appeared to him (Isaac) and said: I am the God of Abraham, your father. Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of Abraham, my servant.

Often times when are lives are full of trouble it is hard to think of God’s presence and to realize we are His children and we should be about His business. Isaac is involved in a dispute over water rights. In a sparsely watered land, wells were precious and claims on water could function as a kind of claim on the land. God helps Abimelech, the King, to realize that Isaac has brought blessing to his people and thus to desire to make a covenant with him the day following Isaac’s dream. When I was in the military we had a witty maxim for this; “It is hard to remember your mission was to drain the swamp when you are up to your arse in alligators.” When our lives are so busy fighting off the alligators that we do not take time to listen or pray to God; that is when God may approach us in our dreams. Isaac was reassured by God not to fear for He is with Him.

In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  (1 Peter: 6-7)

Time after Epiphany[1]

The central theme of Advent and Christmastide, the manifestation, or epiphany, of Jesus Christ, also dominates the Weeks after Epiphany. That manifestation began selectively, first to Mary (Ember Wednesday, Annunciation), then to Elizabeth and John the Baptist (Ember Friday, Visitation), and then to Joseph (Vigil of Christmas). Next it grew stronger with the adoration of the Shepherds (Christmas), the Magi at the Manger (Epiphany), Simeon, Anna, and the Doctors in the Temple (Sunday after Christmas, and Holy Family), and even to John the Baptist's disciples (Octave of Epiphany). But the epiphanies of Jesus Christ did not end with these events. On the contrary, everything that our Lord did and said during His public ministry was designed to manifest His divine nature. It is the Time after Epiphany that corresponds to this period of our Lord's life. The Epistle selections, mostly from Paul's letter to the Romans, stress the calling of both Jew and Gentile to the new revelations, while the Gospel selections narrate the words and deeds of our Lord during His adult ministry in Galilee, the northern region of Israel that was the scene of most of His public life. All of these readings give witness to the astonishing fact that this itinerant preacher was the coeternal Word of God, the Word who spoke as only God can speak and who worked miracles that only the God of heaven and earth can work. Thus, even though these weeks, with their green vestments and moderate mode of celebration, are part of the calendar's tempus ad annum (what is called "Ordinary Time" in the new rite), they are more properly seen as continuing the Christmas cycle's focus on "theophany" -- the manifestation of God in Christ. By helping us to heed the words of Christ and understand the significance of His miracles, the Time after Epiphany deepens our meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation.

God does not expect us to be showmen but like the Magi and shepherds we do need to show up and offer our gifts of time, treasure and talents. Spend some time with the Lord to discover his will for you.

On this date frontiersman Buffalo Bill Cody died in 1917,


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