Epiphany is the last official day of the Christmas season. Tomorrow, we as a Church transition back to Ordinary Time. You could say tomorrow the Catholic Church is going back to school after their Christmas break.
I don’t know about you, but I dreaded the last day of Christmas break almost more than my first day back at school.
The first day of my Christmas break, I would make all sorts of plans to see my friends, to read a book, to re-organize my closet and of course have some good quality family time in the two weeks I had off. Then, on my last day of Christmas break, I would wake up and realize how few of things I had planned to do I had actually done. Then I would get this overwhelming feeling that I had missed it all. I had missed my break.
And maybe that’s how you feel about the Christmas season. You went to Christmas Mass, had Christmas dinner with your family, opened Christmas presents, but you don’t feel a whole lot closer to Jesus.
If you feel that way, don’t despair! The Three Kings today remind us, it’s not too late!
Matthew tells us that the three magi, or members of the ruling class from Persia, noticed a new star in the sky, took it as a sign that a new king had been born in Israel and traveled to Jerusalem to greet the newborn king (see Matthew 2:1).
The distance from Persia to Jerusalem was over 1,000 miles. In Jesus’ time, a trip of that distance most likely would have taken months. Talk about arriving to the party late! The shepherds and the choir of angels would have come and gone. All the excitement of Jesus’ birth would have been pretty much over by the time the three kings arrived.
Even though they were late arrivals, that didn’t stop them from having a life-changing encounter with Jesus. When they finally made it the place Jesus was they were overjoyed. When they saw “the child with Mary his mother, they prostrated themselves and did him homage. They opened their treasures” to Him and allowed Jesus into their lives (Matthew 2:10-11).
So, even though this is the last day of the Christmas season, you can still have a new encounter with the Lord this Christmas. Take some time to pray today, opening your heart to the Lord. Tell Him how overjoyed you are that He has come into the world. Ask Jesus to use you and your treasures this new year. If you can, go to adoration and prostrate yourself before Him physically present in the Eucharist. And ask the Three Kings to pray with and for you as you celebrate this last day of Christmas.
It’s never too late to meet Jesus.