Last Sunday, we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany. By definition, an epiphany is the sudden and profound understanding of something. This week, three students from the Newman Association at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, along with Deacon Ed Horneman, the Newman adviser, journeyed to Long Island to experience some epiphanies of their own during their service week.
Our three wise people (four, if we count Deacon Ed) arrived on Saturday, January 4 and were greeted by Fr. Tom Haggarty, pastor at Sts. Philip and James Parish in St. James, NY, along with Virginia, the parish’s business manager, and me. Virginia had prepared a wonderful dinner, and the rest of the time was spent in sharing memories and making new ones.
Fr. Tom’s homily this past Sunday really made me think about the three students. Each of them came on a journey not knowing what they would experience or find. Yet, they took the leap of faith out of their comfort zone and arrived ready to share their gifts. Sometimes we may have wonderful ideas in our mind or think we know something, but often the journey from the head to the heart can be a long and challenging one. Not everyone is willing to take that journey. The Three Wise Men were willing. They took the leap of faith and made the journey. On the other hand, Herod, although not all that bad, couldn’t make the journey of faith from head to heart. And this week, our three young Allegheny students did make that journey.
What about each of us? Are we willing to make the journey that involves change and growth? The offer is there, and there is always the option to go forward. What epiphanies are out there waiting for us? Are we willing to give up our sense of familiarity to journey into the unexpected and come to a better understanding of something?
Can we be more understanding to a friend who hurts us or understand why our aging parent causes us to be so impatient? Are we capable of taking a risk and helping someone who in no way can ever return the favor? What about letting go of a grudge? All of these are journeys from the head to the heart – leading to growth and change.
Can you use this week to make some of these journeys from your head to your heart? You know them well – take the leap of faith and go for the star!
Till next week,
Pictured: The three wise people (Allegheny College students) in front with (l to r) Srs. Ellen Zak, Michelle Bremer, Agnese Palczynski, Theresita Donach and Deacon Ed Horneman.