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From the Tee Box

A Blog by Father Trey Nelson


(The Epiphany of the Lord)

When was the last time you were in awe of God? Was it when you saw the mountains? Walked along the beach in the surf at sunset? Held a newborn child in your arms? Maybe it was during Christmas Mass when the music was particularly moving for you. God reveals Himself to us in many ways. This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord (meaning, “revealing” or “manifestation”) and, thus, the end of the Christmas season. After this weekend, the color of the liturgical year will return to green, and we will, again, be in the season known as Ordinary Time. We all know that life is anything but ordinary. It is, in fact, extraordinary. Isn’t it true, though, that we often miss the extraordinary in everyday living? Many, if not all, of us are use to the “WOW” factor, so use to it that we risk becoming desensitized.

The Gospel this Sunday tells us, that, the magi, “were overjoyed at seeing the star.” (Matthew 2:1-12) When was the last time you were overjoyed at being in the presence of God? The last time you found yourself in awe of the Lord and stopped, said to yourself, “WOW! This is pretty amazing! Thank you, God!” For me, it was on Christmas Eve. A little boy, no more than 3 or 4 years old, came up to me on the front steps of church after Mass for a Christmas hug. I whispered in his ear, “who’s coming to your house tonight?” He replied, “Ho! Ho!” Then he lifted up his head and asked, “when, when are you gonna open your presents?” The tone of his voice seemed like a genuine concern for me. I told him, “oh, probably tomorrow, buddy.” Then he asked, “well, when you, when you do, can you call me? And tell me what you got?” For me, that was it. That was my Christmas. It’s hard to explain how it made me feel, except to say that I knew I had met Christ in that moment of excitement and innocence. I had, once again, been awed by God.

FOR REFLECTION: Where will I encounter the awesome presence of God next?


Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

It may not necessarily be the most significant verse in today’s Gospel selection, but for some reason it has stayed with me since this morning: “Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste.” (Luke 1:39) If you think about it, we “make haste” about and toward a lot of things. We give time, attention, and energy to various tasks and people too. The thought to consider, however, would be whether or not we are “making haste toward” the right things and toward the people to whom God asks.

There’s a lot of haste-making right now. Order it. Buy it. Wrap it. Cook it. Deliver it. You name it. This is normal for the season. In it all, and beyond Christmas into the everyday life of a new year, are we making haste toward a deeper relationship with Christ and toward those who are truly in need? Mary was focused. How focused are we? That’s our calling too.

FOR REFLECTION: What does it mean for you to “make haste” toward Christ in daily living?


Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

The name Zechariah means “God remembers.” This is very consoling for me. At times in my life, during certain moments of trouble, stress, and difficulty, I tend to go through what I call an initial “freak out” phase. During this time, those who give me counsel often tell me, “man, you just have to let go of that.” I think it’s important that we regularly recall God’s track record with us. We have always been protected. We have always been healed, forgiven, and lifted up. And we have always made it through to the other side of a difficult situation.

During this season, scripture presents us with various persons who seem to have been able to stay the course and remember. All too often we forget. Let’s choose to be someone who remembers on a regular basis all that we’ve come through and all that has been done for us. All too often we forget our successful journeys through the valleys of life. While our name may not be Zechariah, may we consciously choose to stop and recall all that we have overcome in life.

FOR REFLECTION: How could I have a little more Zechariah in me?