Two Epiphany stories

Published January 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin



Fr. Rolando V. Dela Rosa, O.P.
Fr. Rolando V. Dela Rosa, O.P.

For us Christians, the Feast of the Epiphany celebrates God’s revelation of Himself, not only to the Jews, but to everyone who seeks Him. Here are two epiphany stories for those who ask, often despairingly: “Why doesn’t God show himself to me? Where do I go to find Him?”

During a Wednesday catechism class, the teacher gives her elementary students leaflets containing the story of the Epiphany, to be distributed to everyone whom they meet on their way home, as they proclaim this message: “God loves you. You don’t need to travel far like the Magi to meet Him. He is always with you.”

One 10-year-old student enthusiastically takes on the task. After an hour of distributing the leaflets,he has only one left. He knocks at the door of one house, but nobody answers. He knocks persistently, but still no answer.

When he is about to leave, he decides to knock again, and this time, the door slowly opens and a sad-looking man glares at the boy and asks: “What do you want?”  Forcing a sweet smile, the boy says: “Sorry if I disturbed you Sir. I just want to tell you God loves you. You don’t need to travel far like the Magi to meet Him. He is always with you.” He hands him the leaflet and leaves.

The following Sunday, after celebrating the Mass, a priest is met by a man who asks for a few minutes to talk to him.With head bowed, the man tells the priest:  “Father, you don’t know me. I am living a life of crime, drugs, and other vices. I want to turn back to God but the way to conversion seems a long and lonely road.

“Last Wednesday, a particularly cold and rainy day, I became very depressed. I took my gun and was about to shoot myself when I heard a loud knocking at the door.The knocking got louder and more persistent so I put down the gun and opened the door. I was surprised to see a boy nervously smiling at me. The boy said: ‘I just want to tell you that God loves you. You don’t need to travel far to meet Him. He is always with you.’

“Father, that little boy must have been an angel whom God sent to reveal Himself to me. That stopped me from killing myself.” Then the man knelt before the priest and wept.

Patti Davis, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, once admitted that she was already hooked on drugs at the age of 15. One day, while greedily sniffing cocaine laid out on a shard of a broken mirror, she saw her reflection. She was terrified by what she saw. She was staring at a girl who was hurting and wasting her life.Desperate, she thought of slitting her wrist with a razor.

But in her darkest moment, she had a sudden epiphany.  She writes: As I sat alone in the bathroom, dark except for the blue-white light of the street lamp outside spilling across my hands, my wrists, and the razor blade, I felt God’s heart breaking at the touch of cold steel on my soft young wrist. I felt like I was betraying Him. I put the blade back in the medicine cabinet and started to pray.”

Epiphany is a WOW! moment when we experience a burst of clarity that defies words and illuminates the darkness of despair engulfing us. It is a moment of grace when God reveals Himself as someone accepting us, even if we feel totally unacceptable. May the Lord grant us such an experience, especially when we most need it.