Patricia Tomich, Senior Director of Mission Integration
UCYM Leadership Team
Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory! My mom used to sing this kid’s song to rouse my sisters and me from our morning slumber. And that it did, lights on, we were awake, up and ready for a new school day! It’s quite a stretch of the imagination to compare my mother's intoning of Rise and Shine to Isaiah’s prophetic message of hope, “Arise, for your light has come and the glory of God shines upon you!” Or is it?
We are called: Awake, Rise from your slumber! God's glory shines on you! Epiphany breaks through our slumber. The Scriptures for this Feast invite us to see, to intuit and experience another Reality. The Magi saw differently, they believed enough in themselves, their astronomical instruments and mathematical calculations to embark on a long journey to track a brilliant star illuminating the heavens. We know the story very well, Magi came from the East bringing gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. They made an unexpected stop at Herod’s palace seeking directions, eventually encountering the infant Jesus in the arms of Mary and Joseph.
That same Light shone on St. Paul with the profound revelation: “the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body and sharers in the promise in Christ through the Gospel.” This Truth begins an era of epic proportions spanning the generations of space and time reaching into our hearts today, tomorrow and for eternity. The God of Jesus infuses all Matter with Love that transcends densities, boundaries, walls, and borders; a Love that transforms the hearts of ALL people.
The same Light that shone brightly on the Magi, St. Paul and all believers invites each one of us to arise from slumber. The time is now, the Light of Christ shines upon the entire Cosmos. This is what we celebrate, Epiphany endows us with love and light carrying the potential to illuminate minds and hearts to radiate kindness and compassion. Epiphany enlightens our relationships as we encounter God in the stranger, the immigrant, the refugee, the asylum seeker, the neighbor, the pregnant mother, the LGBTQ+ person, the indigenous, the person of color and the extraterrestrial.
Epiphany stretches our worldview to experience and reimagine the Cosmic Story of Creation which transcends the boundaries of thought, time and space. As the Christmas Season draws to a close with the Feast of the Epiphany let us Rise and shine and give God our glory for the Light of Jesus Christ radiates through you and me.