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Reflection on the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord

Posted on January 7, 2024, by Marie Ego SL

For today’s homily, I was going to use three poems: one by T.S. Eliot and two responses to that poem, Medical Mission Sister Margaret Moran’s and mine. As I reread them, I discovered they were our thinking in 1990, which no longer fits for me.   Copies will be on the bulletin boards so you can see how the meaning of this feast has changed for me.

Times and I have changed.  It is not who makes the journey or stays home, it is more about the journey itself, the Epiphany.  The dictionary defines Epiphany as a revelation, a manifestation or appearance, someone experiences self-revelation about their beliefs or behavior, a “eureka” moment.

Pope Francis in his Christmas message says, “We are called: To set out on a journey, like the Magi, following the light that always desires to lead us at times along unexplored paths and new roads. To listen not only with our ears … with our heart and whole being. To be silent between what we hear and what we say. To move out of our comfort zones. Never lose our sense of humor. The star’s light is there to help us see what is around us: the poor, afflicted, the lowly, the planet, the cosmos and each other.” He emphasizes we need to remain vigilant against rigid ideological positions.  

Thinking about ideological positions and how we have changed: Remember how as novices we would go down our road to “the world” and stop as if it would corrupt us.  What if “the world” is where our epiphany, paschal journey is located — with the people with whom we agree or disagree, animals, plants, the trees, the soil and all that is in it, roots, creepy-crawly and winged creatures. Perhaps we are all on this faith journey together.    

I think of this time now 2024 as an epiphany moment for people filled with exuberance and resistance. Encouraging us to take faltering steps. As a Community we recently took one of those steps, and we are still in the middle of that step. Remember your very first response to taking the altar down to floor level! How do you feel now? What has changed in you, and how did that change happen? What still needs to change?  

 We have to nurture our bravery-willingness to risk-openness to what is new. Think of the three or perhaps more, wise men and women who were brave enough to follow an unknown star and then to defy the “establishment” by going home another way.  They brought gifts to this unknown royal baby, and their greatest gift was their journey, their coming to see and support this establishment of a new ruler. We, Loretto and the planet are all companions on the journey. There are obstacles, disagreements, anger and hopefully reconciliation, breakdowns, violence and war in the world. What will I do to keep the star in view and open the way for all life to flourish? What will happen to the people of Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan, those on our Southern border, all victims of violence and war? We are still companions with all on the journey.  

The Epiphany calls us to greater faith than ever before, greater risk and greater openness despite ourselves. I see us on the journey together on a planet, which is alive. May our journey follow the star. My reflections:

Search for the Star

I walk with Hamas, Israel and Sudan

Listen to MSNBC, FOX News and CNN

Stand in Ukraine on both sides of some strained line 

Duck from drones worldwide

March with families of soldiers in Russia, immigrants in Mexico

Am hungry with many and thirsty too

Run from tidal waves, earthquakes and floods

Look for a safe place to sleep

I see others with me … searching beyond our blindness

Where is the light for us to follow?

Are we called to be that light?


Marie Ego SL

Marie works part time in Pastoral Care in the Loretto Motherhouse infirmary, is chair of the Motherhouse Coordinating Board as well as a member of the Loretto Co-membership Team. Previously, among her ministries, she served 18 years in Ghana. In her spare time she reads, writes poetry and keeps up with the latest world news.