Friday, 6 January 2017

Wet and Dry

Happy Feast of the Epiphany, dear reader.

The symbolism is so rich and every year something new manifests itself.  In many ways it is my feast; the scientist putting  all her understanding and knowledge at the feet of the One from whence it came. Also, the link between the Baptism in the Jordan, the Magi and the Wedding Feast at Cana, never ceases to be a rich source of wonderment. This year it was the Benedictus Antiphon that hit me:

Today the Church hath been joined to her heavenly Spouse, for Christ hath washed away her sins in the Jordan; the Magi hasten with the gifts to the royal nuptials, and the guests are gladdened with wine made from water, alleluia.

It would take a lifetime to unpack all of that, I can hardly start.... needless to say my obsession with the supernatural ends of marriage play a large part in how I have reacted to this today.

The other, more prosaic thought was that 2 of the the 3 manifestations are wet (the Baptism and the wine at Cana) the other is dry. A bit like the weather today, sunshine and showers, and more of the latter... There is stuff to unpack here too.  Wet make no sense without dry, delight no sense without pain, understanding no sense without unknowing....

Whilst the Eastern Churches are busy throwing themselves into icey waters today (give or take Clavius and his calendar changes) and looking very manly, the feast in the West is more centred round the Nativity scene in the crib, we in the West are most definitely dry; the dry gifts from the Magi from a dry land and you don't get much drier than the blessed chalk handed out to mark the entrances to our homes. Both the wet and the dry are needed...

Bulgarian Theophany 'river dance'.
From Creative Commons: By Balkanregion - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

And what should Epiphany do to our hearts? You don't need me to tell you that. As for my own heart as I ponder my future,  it is the growing realisation that whatever happens in 2017, I will be doing something robust for God, I have the talents and skills, no sense of fear and I am ready.. a 'partner in crime' would be nice, but that is not up to me.


Catpuss said...

I'm really enjoying these posts. The spiritual meaning of marriage intrigues and eludes me. I would have missed the connections in the Antiphon if you had not raised them, how exciting, even to this bear of little brain.

Rita said...

Catpuss, thank you for your encouraging comments,

I think it was Mgr Ronald Knox who said that we developed bread so that we could 'comprehend' the Eucharist.

In the same way, woman was given to man in marriage so that God's undying love for us would be manifest. The supernatural end of marriage is to know, love and serve God more... this is born out by Scripture, it isn't just me waffling. Ephesians 5 is a good starting point.

best wishes for the secular new year.