Saturday, January 3, 2009

The 10th Day of Chrstmas

Genesis 28:10-22
v. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.

As we come up to the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) when we celebrate the visit of the Magi to the Christ child, we begin to reflect more on the Epiphany theme of "revelation," particularly the revelation of the God of Israel to all people.

That the God of Israel would be the God of all people is not a New Testament proposition. Jesus didn't invent it, nor did Paul. It was buried deep in the primordial history of Israel. In today's reading Jacob (later to be re-named "Israel") has a dream in which he is told that his people will be a blessing to all people. As the prophet Isaiah would say centuries later, the people of Israel were called to be "a light to the nations." It was never supposed to be just about them.

All of us want to be special, be it as individuals or as some group of which we are a part. This is certainly true in the Church. We are called special by God: God's beloved. We are special in God's eyes both as individuals and as a community of faith. On the other hand, our specialness is never to be just about us. Our specialness has a purpose, to spread, if you will, that specialness around, far and wide, as far and wide as we can imagine, and farther.

"Blessing" is not just something God does to us. It is something we are called to do for others in the name of the Blessed One.

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