A few friends of mine recently asked how we are celebrating the Epiphany at our house this year, so I thought I’d share the main Epiphany activity in the Warner home.
On January 6th, after a few days into the New Year of reflection, discernment, and prayer, each of us will come up with the three gifts we’ll offer to Jesus this year, commemorating the three gifts offered to Jesus by the magi. These are essentially our “spiritual resolutions” for the coming months, which serve as ways to draw closer to Jesus and give Him the gift of ourselves, particularly exhibited in these three unique and sometimes more challenging ways during the remainder of the year.
As with most goals, including spiritual ones, we will aim to make our gifts:
- Heartfelt and thoughtful
- Specific and measurable (maybe you’ll tackle one gift per calendar quarter – 4 month – period, so you really have time to focus on completing that gift/goal)
- Written (I recommend writing your spiritual goals/gifts down and placing them in a box beneath the tree labeled “Epiphany Gifts for Jesus” or something like that. You can take turns sharing each of your three gifts with the rest of the family – which is great for encouragement and accountability throughout the year – or choose to keep them private, between you and Jesus. Just make sure you end up with a written copy of your gifts to look at on a daily or weekly basis so you stick to them this year!)
Here are just some ideas of gifts you can offer Jesus on the Epiphany:
- Commitment to a new devotion: the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the 3 p.m. hour every day, daily Mass one or more times a week, adoration once a week, a daily Rosary, praying the Angelus before or after mealtimes, going to Confession once a month, and so forth.
- Choosing a “pet faith-based subject”/a specific area of the faith you are interested in to learn more about and teach others about. (Here are some resources to help you!)
- Commitment to join a new ministry, initiate a volunteer project, or participate in spiritual and corporal works of mercy at your parish.
- Choosing and learning about a special/patron saint for the year. (Use this saint name generator to choose a saint for the year!)
- Commitment to reading a spiritual book (or several) this year.
- Completing this bucket list of ways to be merciful.
- Selecting a different person to pray for, offer sufferings for, and show charity toward each day…even and especially people that are harder to love!
If you pop your name and email address in the box below this article, you can get access to some great free materials that will also help with this activity, like the Virtue-Focused Year and my Spiritual Goal Planning worksheet.
Be creative! This exercise should draw you closer to Christ this year and make you more attentive to the selfless act of gift-giving at the end of the Christmas season. Maybe you’ve received many thoughtful gifts from others over the past 12 days…this is your chance to offer something wonderful to Jesus!