Feast of the Epiphany
Thoughts on the Second Reading – Joe Frankenfield
Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
“It’s my bike and I can do what I want with it.” My nephew was so angry at my brother that he was oblivious of how dangerous his attitude was becoming. “Here’s the deal;” my brother calmly replied, proving himself a better person than I, “it is your bike, but if you leave it outside again and it gets stolen, we’re not getting you another one. There are other needs more important for the family than keeping you in bicycles. It’s not just about you.”
Those words, and many others, must have worked because my nephew is a caring, responsible adult now. Somewhere along the line he learned that nothing is simply his.
Most of us arrive at that awareness sooner or later. We learn that we’re responsible to others for how we use what we possess. That’s true about everything – cars, money, intelligence and – faith.
My faith is my business is a common assertion even though it’s obviously not so. We all know how we’re affected by the attitudes of people around us. We’ve all struggled to do a good job when our co-workers are sloughing off. We know what it’s like to try to better a bad situation when those around us are uninvolved and cynical.
Faith is a commitment to realize life’s promise. It’s attitude in action. In our religious language it’s living the way of Christ or living for the Reign of God. Our faith affects everyone around us. If it’s strong, it elicits faith from neighbors and co-workers. If it’s weak, it drags everyone down.
The issue of faith isn’t the words we use to express it. It is the vitality that we promote through it. From what we know of Jesus, a person couldn’t be touched by him and not be more in love with life – their own and everyone else’s. We eventually came to know that power as God’s Spirit. When we have faith, it’s shared faith. It’s never just about me.