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Follow-up Prayer for the Epiphany of the Lord.  Year. 'B'.

Dear Lord,

What gifts can I bring this New Year?

Your answer is in the cry of the poor, but they are mixed with greed and self-interest.

You lie helpless in many mangers and society still has 'no room at the Inn'.

I'm meant to make a difference but I don't know how.

The causes and effects seem beyond me yet I know that your working in me can make a difference.

1 realise that I am only a small part in your redemptive plan and that I have a duty, indeed an obligation, to fulfil a task, however small that commission, let me obey with body, soul and mind.

What gold, frankincense and myrrh can I bring?

All of them are necessary:

Gold - to give all material possessions;

Frankincense - an attempt at a holy and obedient life;

And myrrh - the openness to your will at the end of life.

Where is the 'Bethlehem' to which I am led?

It's so close that I fail to see it:  The ordinariness of life hides divinity.

You entrust me with revelation but I'm unsure what to do with it.

I am still one of those pagans thrashing about in searching, when the object of love is already present.

A clearer display is given out in the hearts of those around me, those who are partners in redemption.

During this year let me go out of my way to find you, to pay homage according to an increased ability.

May I put aside and not listen to the voices of other 'kings' but to see through their scheming.

Their aim is to destroy your Incarnation and misguide your pilgrims.

May the star arise again to light the way for your people and the sincerity of Christians reveal your coming.

Let me join with the pilgrimage of your Church, making way to your stable,

Where the whole of nature is already is present.

Your creatures await, looking in wonder and with eyes greater than mans.

They have nothing to offer but themselves.

I too have nothing of my own to offer:

All I have has come as a gift.

My only offering: a sincere desire to worship, just to be with you and at peace with those around me.

The world is hostile and at variance with goodness, there is a fear of truth and of sin revealed.

Let the grace of your coming permeate all knowledge and the mystery of your Godhead be revealed to simple hearts.

Let me kneel at your manger with my knees in the muck of this world.     Amen