Sunday, January 3, 2010
The Feast of Epiphany
While the date is Jan. 6th for many, we have celebrated it today. There is much for us to ponder with this feast - the star, the prophecies fulfilled, the death of the innocents, the length at which the magi went to be able to sit at the feet of a baby. For me, I would like to think for a moment for those left behind - who was taking care of the homes they left while they traveled to find God and bring Him treasures?
As a wife and mother, this is often the role I take in my marriage. My husband travels far each day for his work and the majority of my day is spent alone. I look after the children and home by myself; including not only the care and feeding but the teaching. It can be a lonely day - day after day.
There is also the concern I live with as he leaves. He drives to the train and takes that into DC where he then gets a subway. I am worried sometimes. One day this past fall there was a tragic subway accident. It was my dh's train and a quick telephone call reassured me that by God's plan he worked late that night and wasn't on it. I imagine the wives, children and families of the three kings worried as well. While I can be reassured by telephone calls, those of the magi could not - no technological support systems back then. They had to rely on knowing that the trip they undertook was also God's plan.
And that is what helps those of us at home do what we do - it is God's plan. Just as it was God's plan that the magi travel far from home to find Him in a stable, it was also His plan that there would be those who stayed behind. God's plan includes everyone - not just the ones who leave and go. While we remember the three in story, song and poem we might want to think about those that stayed. They are also a vital part of the story. Just as my husband reminds me daily that he could not do what he does without me at home - the three magi could not as well. They were strengthened on their journey with the knowledge that everything was being taken care of home by people who loved them enough to let them go.
Before I conclude, I want to make clear that I am not making a statement about mothers who work outside the home as I know well that now, more than ever, many moms are doing just that because they have to, it is necessary. No, I am merely striving to make the point that we can think that what we do - either at home or at a job - is insignificant to God's plan because we aren't doing something heroic, remarkable or worthy of a song. What we do can seem so pointless because it is so mundane.
In those moments, when we are wiping off peanut butter faces or sitting through one more committee meeting we must think of our own dear patron. St. Therese, the Little Flower, makes it clear that nothing is insignificant or small to God when it is done with love, with purpose and as a part of His plan.
As this new year begins, consider both offering up all you do, every small, trivial task to God for His purpose and also striving to see all that you do as a part of His plan. While on some days we might wish that God asks us to take a long trip to some exotic location, the reality of that actually occurring is unlikely. Don't waste time wishing you were on a trip you were never called to take. Enjoy and celebrate the trip you are taking right now. As this trip, commonly referred to as a family still has God at the end. What will you be bringing him?