Radio & TV Shows, Steve’s

Epiphany? So What?

by Steve Ray on January 6, 2019

 What is Epiphany anyway? And why should I care?

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The Feast of the Epiphany – the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus and the Miracle of Cana all combined – is really quite fascinating. It was actually a celebration in the Church long before Christmas was celebrated and eventually overshadowed Epiphany.

John Paul II gave 52 Homilies that mention the word Epiphany, or are centered on the Epiphany. The word epiphany means a sudden insight, a revelation. In Christian terms it refers to the manifestation of Jesus’ divinity to the world. The Baptism of Our Lord was such an epiphany as the voice of God revealed the true nature of his Son. In Cana the disciples saw his glory and believed, and the Wise Men understood who he was so that even the Gentiles saw the glory of God.

Today is January 6, the Feast of Epiphany and WE ARE AT THE SITE OF JESUS’ BAPTISM (see video later today) – which was more important in the early Church for the Epiphany than the Magi’s arrival.

For Steve‘s article “Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds” click here. To read about the Epiphany in the Catholic Encyclopedia, click here

For brochures of upcoming pilgrimages and cruises, click here. For more info, call Suzanne at 800-727-1999, extension 121.

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Catechism on Epiphany: “The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates 1) the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with 2) his baptism in the Jordan and 3) the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. “

“The magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that (us) pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas–(is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”).”  CCC 528

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SS999-21TissotJosephInShopSince we are in Nazareth today, I thought I would share a bit about the daily life of the Holy Family.

These videos were taken when I could still run. You will enjoy seeing where Jesus and Joseph worked, and their hometown as it is today. Join me for two running adventures.

Their life was very different from ours and I will take you on a walk/run through “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.” The picture to the left is one of my favorite pictures of St. Joseph.

Having been to the Holy Land over 65 times my wife and I feel like we know them and have experienced their lives in a small way.

If you are interested, you can view two of my YouTube videos where I put on my running shoes and sweat a bit to explore the land of the Holy Family: 1) Running around inside Nazareth where the Holy Family lived, and 2) Running from Sepphoris to Nazareth where Jesus and Joseph worked during the day before hiking back home up into the hills of Nazareth.

Two of my articles you might like to read: 1) Is It Correct to Call Joseph the “Father” of Jesus, and 2) an interesting angle on the Ever-virginity of Mary.

We also produced a documentary on Mary, Mother of God and another which shows their life, Jesus, the Word Became Flesh. Also a talk I gave at a conference entitled, A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.

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I have added a 7th rule – Be patient.

Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends (especially over the holidays)

“I can’t believe you are thinking about being Catholic. Have you lost your mind? Why in the world would you leave biblical Christianity to follow a religion based on men’s tradition? How in the world did you fall for a religion like that?”

*  *   *

“Listen, Mom and Dad, I appreciate the education you gave me at Catholic school, but I just don’t believe it anymore. I have found Jesus now, and I don’t need your religion anymore. I’ve learned so much since joining the Bible church, and they are much friendlier than the Catholics at Mass.”

*  *   *

Then the arguments begin, the hostilities and the senses of betrayal and loss arise. One grabs a Bible and begins quoting newly discovered verses out of context while the other tries to recall why he believes Catholic teaching but, alas, discovers he believes but doesn’t know why. It goes from bad to worse, and the lines of communication and trust collapse.

With multiple variations, this scenario plays itself out in families across America. Sometimes it is an Evangelical Protestant wife who finds out her husband has been studying in secret and is now deciding to join the dreaded Catholic Church. In another home it is heartbroken parents who’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on their children’s Catholic education only to have tears well up in their eyes when they watch their children leave the faith for secularism, a Baptist church, or another religion.

Not peace but a sword

There is no question that many families are split over religion. My wife and I know this from own experience. We were ostracized by our families and friends when we converted to the Catholic Church. Family refused to talk to us or visit our home for almost a year, and we lost all of our Evangelical friends—which were the only kind we had at the time—in less than a month.

 Religious arguments and split families are as old as time. The New Testament is full of conflict as Jews discovered the Messiah and were “divorced” by their Jewish families and communities.

Jesus knew the gospel would bring strife and division in families and warned of these ruptures: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household” (Matt. 10:34–36).

Of course, for those who heard him, the immediate conflict was between Jews—those who rejected Jesus as Messiah and those who followed him. But similar conflicts continue to rip through families even to this day. It is especially common among Christians of different denominations, but most pronounced with conversions to the Catholic Church and those who fall away or choose another religion.

The religious division and pain within families is especially highlighted for me as I travel across the country and around the world speaking at conferences and parishes and leading pilgrimages. Of all the questions I am asked, there is no question more frequent than: “What should I do about my son or daughter who has left the Catholic Faith? It is tearing us apart. What can I do to get them back? What is the No. 1 argument to get them to listen and return?”

At this point, whether family members have left, or a coworker is relentless in his attacks on the Faith, or a wife is unable to get his husband to understand her newfound love for Catholicism, people look for a silver bullet. Unhappily, there is no silver bullet or special Bible verse that will turn back the clock, convert the heart, change the mind, convince the opponent, or drag back the child. What is done is done; we have to accept the situation as it is and take a long-term approach.

Anger and pain

Our first inclination, when confronted by an anti-Catholic or a fallen-away Catholic, is to argue or withdraw, often displaying our anger and pain. If it is a family member or friend at work, we are inclined to think it is our job to quickly retrieve them from their error. With good intentions, we press the issue by confronting them and using emotionally charged comments such as “I can’t believe this!” or “You’d do this even though you know how much it hurts us?”

The result is often the opposite of the intention. The loved one is usually pushed further away and more deeply entrenched in his resolve to resist. Bridges are burned, and discussion shuts down. After a few heated confrontations or silent treatments, the doors to conversation close shut. It is usually too late when we realize we’ve only made matters worse.

It is a rare and a blessed family that does not experience the personal grief of these problems and trials. Learned through the fires of my own experience and with a desire to help so many hurting brothers and sister in Christ, I came up with my Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholics. Watching people practice them over the years has proved to me that these rules work.

They do not always bring the wanderer back into the fold or convert the entrenched Protestant. But they help repair damaged relations and set the stage for future reconciliation and peace—even a full acceptance of the Catholic Faith.

The rules are not in any necessary order, although I do think the last one is revolutionary.

Rule No 1: Don’t argue….

For all the 6 Rules, click here.

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