Epiphany House Blessing

Yesterday, on the feast of the Epiphany, we had our annual house blessing!

We invite you to adopt this custom in your family. The family gathers to ask God’s blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.

“Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of the Epiphany and God’s blessing of our lives and home. With time the chalk will fade. As it does we let the meaning of the symbols written sink into the depths of our heart and be manifest in our words and actions the Latin words, Christus mansionem benedictat, “May Christ bless the house.”

Here is the blessing, or you can go to the link here to find the more printer friendly version:

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Whose steps are you walking in today?

I thought I would share with you today some thoughts on the Epiphany story, taken from Mathew’s Gospel (2.1-12). I have paraphrased a reflection from Fr.John Bartunek (The Better Part) and also added my own reflections to it.

The Gospel today reveals to us 2 different responses to Christ’s coming. We see the response of Herod in comparison to the response of the Magi.

Herod had spent much of his life furthering his own personal kingdom at the expense of others’ reputation and others’ lives solely for his own personal glory. Herod most definitely feels threatened when Christ enters the scene, a King with authority from on high. All of his labours are at risk because of this supposed king.

The Magi, on the other hand, detect the coming of this long awaited King through natural signs, which God surely used to communicate with them in a way that they would understand. Far from fearing the demands that this new king might make on their own personal lives they joyfully seek him out, I’m sure through many hardships and discomforts on their long journey, and they rejoiced to know that God’s Saviour was finally coming. Instead of hoarding their treasures, the fruits of their life’s labour, they bear their gifts to Him.

This makes us think of what our response to Christ is when he comes into our lives, throughout our day to day comings and goings. As I was reflecting on this in my own life a few thoughts came to mind;

What is my response when I am faced with those special moments in my day when Christ is present to me through others? Or when he is present to me in little ways trying to guide me? Do I face these moments as inconveniences or joys?

How does my life reflect my relationship with him? Am I filled with joy when I think of the moments I can spend with Christ in prayer throughout the day? Or do I avoid these moments by getting caught up in other distractions or escapes?

How much effort do I put into seeking Christ in every moment of every day? Am I open to taking that journey with and towards Christ, whatever the cost?

Let us reflect on these conflicting reponses as we ponder the presence of the Christ-child in our lives. Whose steps are we walking in, in our hearts and our lives?