Let’s face it—we’re all guilty of it—it sets in right about now if not sooner. We know we probably shouldn’t and we don’t want the wrong people to find out, because that would be pretty embarrassing, so we have to make sure we are just sneaky enough…REGIFTING is a serious artform. We all get those Christmas, birthday, or seasonal presents that we know we have no idea what we are going to do with. We might wear them or use them once or twice to show our giftER that we the giftEE have appreciation for their thoughtfulness—but chances are these items more than likely get buried in some closet or corner of the basement and never see the light of day again. That is unless we REGIFT. This can be a dangerous activity and one that I wouldn’t recommend to the faint at heart, but with the high risk can also come great fulfillment—not only can we possibly give what we don’t like to someone else who might appreciate it, but in the meantime we get rid of the very thing we don’t want anymore. Please don’t ask me how I know so much about his sensitive topic—let’s just say I read a lot in books.
The feast we celebrate today, the feast of Epiphany captures how God through the manifestation of His Son, Jesus Christ given to the world in Bethlehem can’t help but to demand a response. St. Gregory the Great states that even creation recognizes and acknowledges the presence of Jesus as God made man, he says, “The heavens knew because they immediately sent forth a star, the sea knew because it allowed him to walk upon it; the earth knew because it trembled when he died; the sun knew because it hid the rays of its light.”
King Herod also knew, at least in his own mind, that who he was dealing with was a threat to him and his own power and control. Herod focused not on what he might gain from Christ but instead on what he might lose for himself. The magi on the other hand, were simply open to what all this could mean and wanted to follow through with where they were being led. For them the star, the child, his mother became the unexpected and yet perfect gift that they received into their hearts and the result was conversion. As our Gospel writer Mathew recorded these grown men prostrated themselves and did the baby homage. They respond to their encounter with the Christ child by entering into worship.
Today God has lead us, here not simply to fulfill our Sunday obligation, or to see some friends or family, but to worship. The same Jesus is here and will be unveiled on this altar. What gift do we have to offer him today? We might be tempted to re-gift him our time here and now, drift in thought, day dream, wonder when Father is going put a cork in it, or rather I invite us during the Eucharistic prayer—at consecration when Jesus in lifted before our eyes much like the star was elevated above Bethlehem to like the magi offer him the gift of our heart. I doubt we brought with us any gold, frankincense, or myrrh, if you did bring any gold feel free to place that in the collection basket as it comes around, but really what God desires, is not those superficial things in our life that we have, rather He wants our hearts to enter into to worship, to be moved by his presence to the point of giving him everything. Conversion happens when we become willing to give the very thing that He doesn’t have, to surrender control and let Him be the one gift we receive that we never give away unwanted, but share with joy to all because there is nothing greater gift in all the world than Jesus Christ our Lord.