By Fr. Rich, O.P.
As we begin a new year, one that promises to bring a plethora of new experiences, I invite you to join me in an imaginative exercise.
We are celebrating the Epiphany this weekend. There are any number of stories and legends about the “reveal” of Jesus Christ, Son of God, mighty King, Wonder Councilor. How many visitors were there, from whence did they come, how did they travel, and what gifts did they bring?
What we do believe is that He was presented to the larger, Gentile world as the presence of God in our world, and the gifts offered symbolized his kingship, his status as a prophet, and the inevitable death that we would suffer.
I think that we can also presume, for the sake of conversation, that whoever came to worship in His presence were thoughtful, prayerful individuals who had a sense of the greater world around them and a sense of the forces in play in the universe. The philosophy or moral codes that drove them may have differed from the Commandments that were the cornerstone of the Jewish people.
It is not a huge leap of faith that encourages me to place the prayer below in the minds and voices of those who traveled to acknowledge the savior child. In the coming year, it will be for me foundational to my prayer life; it will inform my contemplation and hope that God is truly as present today as he was then. He is fully human, fully divine, present in the Eucharist that we celebrate as a community.
It behooves us to remember this. Whatever legends or stories surround His birth, the truth is that the Son of God entered human history and did so in order that we might be redeemed.
As this year unfolds, I invite you to join me in this prayer. We all seek serenity. We all seek God’s grace in our lives. Our journey begins in prayer and requires commitment, energy, and patience.
Although we celebrate the Epiphany as a moment in history, it has an alternative meaning: a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (Merriam-Webster). Perhaps, through our prayer and contemplation over the next year, we will come to a deeper awareness of God in our lives, in our world. Join me; what have you got to lose?
Final Prayer for a New Genesis by Robert Muller
Dear God, I do not know who you are, but I am in exultant joy before the magnificence of Your creation.
I do not know why you gave me life, but I thank You with every fiber of my heart for having lit up in me the divine spark of light in the vast, incomprehensible universe.
I know that I come from You, that I am part of You, that I will return to You, and that there will be no end to my rebirth in the eternal stream of Your splendid creation.
I do not know why You created light and darkness, happiness and despair, good and evil, love and hatred, creation and destruction, matter and void, and allowed us to choose constantly between the two, but I know that it is my duty and joy to throw down the gauntlet for light, brightness, compassion, goodness, happiness, truthfulness, life, beauty and love.
I cannot define You, I cannot see You, I cannot perceive You, I cannot understand You, I cannot embrace You, but I can most definitely feel You, love You, and know that You are.
Please God, allow us to become at long last a warless, weaponless, hungerless, horrorless, just, kind, truthful, thankful, loving and happy planet.
Help me to show through my life that this is the Planet of God. Please.
Robert Muller (March 11, 1923 – September 20, 2010) was an international civil servant with the United Nations. Serving with the UN for 40 years and rising to the rank of Assistant Secretary-General, his ideas about world government, world peace and spirituality led to the increased representation of religions in the UN, especially of New Age Movement. He was known by some as “the philosopher of the United Nations”.