Epiphany Family

Rubens "Melchior the Assyrian"
Rubens “Melchior the Assyrian”

The Gentiles are co-heirs. (Ephesians 3:6)

St. Paul wrote these words from the point-of-view of someone who put the population of the world into two categories, namely ______s and ___________s. ‘Gentile’ means non-_____, someone not descended from ____________.

Now, before we get all righteous about the us-vs.-them approach, let’s call to mind the following fact. Human beings always divide the world into two categories of people, namely: people I can talk to in my language, and people I can’t. It doesn’t make someone racist, or evil, or prejudiced, if he or she tends to associate with people who speak the same language, as opposed to people who don’t.

St. Paul nonetheless declares: The Gentiles, who do not speak our language: they are co-heirs.

Co-heirs. Will also inherit. Inherit what?

abrahamSt. Paul himself answers the question. “The promise.” Dear brother Jews, guess what? The Gentiles inherit the promise right along with us.

The promise made to Abraham that we would become a nation more numerous than the sands of the seashore and the stars of the sky. And that all the world will find a blessing in us.

The magi at the crib represent the Gentiles, as I think we all know. And, of course, that means they represented us at the crib–since very few, if any, of us can claim to descend from Abraham genetically.

In other words: the promises and the blessing have come to rest on us, too–us Gentiles. We get counted among the stars in the night sky that belong to our father Abraham.

Many of us have spent time meditating on this: the language we use to speak to each other has more to it than just a functional, purely practical aspect. Our language saves us from the unimaginably terrifying prospect of not belonging: not belonging to any family, not belonging to any people, not belonging to anybody at all. People have long regarded exile as a fate just as bad as death. To dwell on this earth utterly alone, without a people, without a family: Horrible.

baptism-holy-card1In the time of the Old Covenant, belonging to the family of God had its distinctive marks. The Hebrew language, the Holy Land, and, of course, the definitive sign: all the men were __________________.

Now that the New Covenant has come, what is the definitive sign of belonging to the family of God? ________________.

Not all Catholics have the same language. But we have some fundamental things in common, like…Celebramos la misa. La queremos a la Virgen. Pensamos en que el padre habla demasiado a veces.

God has made us co-heirs of His good things, of His blessings. We do not make the pilgrimage of earthly life alone. We belong to the family of God.

What year is it now? Well, in our family it is 2015, since it has been 2,015 years since…

Ok. In our family, what’s a person supposed to do on Sunday mornings, or late-Saturday afternoons? Go to Mass!

And every morning, first thing; and every night, before bed–what do we do, in this family? Pray! Once a month, we examine our consciences and go to…

Listen, let’s plan on doing a lot of things together as a family this year. Mass every week. Lots of praying. Special feast days, which we can learn all about by carefully studying the AD 2015 Epiphany Proclamation.

Happy 2015! Let’s thank God that He has given Himself to us, so that we can be His people, and that He has given us each other, to be a family.

epiphany triptych

Sunday Updates

the_holy_trinityCarleton Bryant quote of the week:

President Obama recently named a “pay czar” and a “Great Lakes czar,” and he thought about naming a “car czar.”

And he already had a drug czar, a border czar, a health reform czar, an info-tech czar and a regulatory czar, among others.

That’s a lot of czars. It looks like the Obama administration is the path to czardom. I just hope that if they ever need a “bacon czar,” they’ll keep me in mind. Because I know bacon.

Fathers’ Day Scripture Ephesians 3:14-15:

I kneel before the Father, from Whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth takes its name.

…We have nothing against gorillas. But baptizing effigies of them is a sacrilege:

This objectionable travesty reminds me…

1)…of my favorite thing that Bl. Columba Marmion, O.S.B. ever wrote:

(I cannot lay my hands on my collected works of Marmion at this moment, so I will paraphrase.)

…[So-and-so] asked me what I thought of the “historical-critical” method of Scriptural interpretation. He maintained that, although it is flawed, it could be ‘baptized.’

You cannot baptize an ape.

2) It also reminds me of the most chilling atmospheric literary device of P.D. James’ novel, Children of Men.

P. D. James
P. D. James
(They made this novel into a terrible movie which bears practically no resemblance to the book.)

Here is the spectacle:

No children have been born for almost twenty years. Society is fraying at the edges. A man stumbles into a country church. A small ceremony is underway. The curate is baptizing a doll.

Turns out the priest does it regularly. It appeases the women who are desperate for the semblances of motherhood. Creepy.

…Speaking of England, Raffy has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to knee problems. There will be no epic re-match in the final…