How well we know the Epiphany story:  A distant star, eager pilgrims, a leader determined to preserve his power, and a newborn child–God’s tiny, infinite and intimate gift.   And there were presents: gold for kingship, frankincense for divinity, and myrrh, an aromatic used to prepare the dead.  Finally, there was the dream warning the magi to travel home by a different route and not reveal the child’s whereabouts to Herod.

Epiphany 2021 seems not so different.  We have been on a long pilgrimage, mourning our losses, seeking justice, health, and a safe return to the people we love and our routines.

We have witnessed crippling struggles over power.  A bipartisan group, the Problem Solvers Caucus crafted the COVID relief plan that was finally passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, but problem solving should not be the goal of a select few.  As we move into the new year, may we and our leaders be like Mary, Joseph and the three kings, open to the Spirit’s stirrings to work for the common good.