One rule while I was growing up and in my own house now was that no Christmas was put away until after the Epiphany, (though the official end to the church season is next week when we celebrate The Baptism of the Lord). Consequently, I also do not immediately put up decorations on Thanksgiving. I believe in the twelve days of Christmas. I believe in experiencing the journey…which is also why I love the Epiphany. Therefore, if you come to my house in the first ten days of January, I will more than likely still be celebrating in some way. But I also love the actual word, “Epiphany.” I find it to be an exciting word. To have an epiphany is to have a new understanding, to have the proverbial light bulb go off in your head. For Christians it is everything…our Christian tradition is the “new understanding”. Christ has come for all. God is not only for the Jews anymore….God is come for us all. My priest talked about how because of this our church must welcome everyone. As I sat there, I thought to myself how ironic is was that this day is an important day in our church because it meant the promise included everyone. Yet how often the larger church and many people in our own parishes do not want to include those who are different, in well, pick a way…any way. So what again is the point of Epiphany?We have a beautiful liturgy, and the cycle of our year is set up to call us to be a more loving, more open people and to bring us more deeply into relationshop with God. How is it that we get so lost? How is it that we get so bogged down in the, what is and what is not “Catholic” conversation? In some places people are not welcome because of sexual orientation. In others, because of economic situation. Still others because they haven’t yet accepted the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. (Yes, I have actually heard people say that you shouldn’t recieve if you do not fully accept that…hmmm…)Pope Benedict has called for a Year of Faith. Wouldn’t it be interesting if each of us started it by asking ourselves where our own weakness was? Wouldn’t it be interesting if we called out our leaders and our church on the ways that we do not live faithfully and that we do not honor the manifestation of Christ in all people, no matter how God made them. My weakness is authority, I own that. My weakness is arrogance, again, I own that. I am sure that there is a list of others so I know that at times, my faith is affected by these two issues. I know that at times, I have blind spots that I need to be called out on. But it is my desire that no one be left out of the opportunity to know the fullness of God’s love.My hope for this year of faith, is that we live in an epiphany. That we gain a new understanding and that we, in turn, can bring more light to the world. Wouldn’t it be something indeed if we became known again for our deep and abiding faith?