Let His Light Shine

As I stepped into the office at my new job, it felt familiar yet different. I had worked at parishes before, both as an Administrative Assistant and Director of Family Ministry, yet they were in different towns and one in a different state. Each community has its own flavor, its own strengths and weaknesses, its own offerings and its own needs. 

As I was welcomed by the staff and ushered into my new space, I felt ready for what was to come. Sure, there would be a learning curve. Sure I would discover additional aspects of what was expected of me as I went along, but I would be serving God’s people once again and I would be close to home. Thank you, Lord! 

Just as the Magi did so long ago, I felt joy and peace that I could finally bring my gifts to Jesus. Sure, being bilingual, having good organizational skills and a solid work ethic are a far cry from gold, frankincense and myrrh, but they are what I have to give. Just as the little drummer boy played his drum for Jesus because that was all he had, so also I offer to my newborn Savior what I have to give.

When working in ministry, it is so important to remember the words of our First Reading: “the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory.” It is the Lord who shines in and through me. It is His light alone that will dispel the darkness and the clouds. If I let Him radiate within me, others can also be radiant with joy. And however small the gifts I bear, I must realize that they are both from Him and for Him, and continually “proclaim[] the praises of the Lord.”

In the Hispanic culture the Feast of the Epiphany, which we celebrate today, is considered a second Christmas. Just as the magi gave gifts to the Christ-Child, the children are also given gifts. I even know a family that chooses to focus on the birth of Jesus spiritually on Christmas day and holds off all gift giving until Epiphany.

No matter what the date or the occasion, the act of gift-giving is important. Whether we give of our creativity, our resources, a well-thought purchase, our time, our talents…all is gift. It is that outpouring of ourselves to others, that sharing of ourselves for the good of others, that moment when we take the backburner so that others may find joy. 

So as we gaze upon the Baby Jesus, visited by the wise men today, may we prayerfully discern which gifts we are called to give in order to let God’s light shine through us. 

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Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at her parish, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.

Feature Image Credit: Ivana Cajina, https://unsplash.com/photos/dQejX2ucPBs