Actions Have Reactions – An Epiphany

A visiting priest who is known for his wonderful homilies visited our church.  After he gave the homily, he requested that we didn't come up to him after mass and tell him how wonderful his homilies are but to pass his words on to others.  Here is his story retold in my words.

Recently, just before Christmas, this priest experienced passing some kidney stones that put him in the hospital for surgery.  While he was recuperating, a hospital volunteer came by with a sealed Christmas card for him.  As he put it, "She was older than Moses, and yet there she was close to holiday time, giving out Christmas cards to patients she did not know."  The priest placed the card on the table next to his bed without opening it.  A day or so later, he developed a fever and the only relief he felt, was to reach over to the table, pick up the enveloped card and fan himself with it.   He thought about the volunteer and how her action to be kind resulted in a reaction of gratitude and thanks from him.

He then spoke on how actions have reactions and sometimes, how no actions have reactions, too.   He asked us, "Have you done any actions lately that resulted in reactions?"

His homily on that Sunday was the celebration of the Epiphany (of the Lord).  The word 'epiphany' comes from the Greek word 'epiphainen, a verb that means "to shine upon"; "to manifest'"; or "to make known", and was connected to the visit of the Magi also known as the Three Wise Men.  It was a fulfillment of prophet Simeon's prophecy that Jesus would be a light of revelation to the Gentiles - to shine as the Light of the World.  The homily told a story of actions to reactions - the birth of Jesus, the visit of the Magi, the threat (action) of Herod to first-borns, and the flight (reaction) to Egypt to escape it.

We were asked again if we had done any actions recently that resulted in reactions.  He suggested we might imitate the volunteer who doesn't know that she is spoken of at every mass to many parishioners or that her action resulted in the reaction of comfort to an ailing patient.

What could we do to mirror her actons of giving and sharing?  Can we manufacture good reactions?  Can we forgive someone we are at odds with?  Could we send a letter of forgiveness to someone with whom we are angry and/or stopped talking to?

Could we make amends for some miscommunication or a bad attitude? Can we have our own 'epiphany' over some matter that we saw only our side on?  Can a 'light of revelation' be found in the actions of others and our reaction to them?  Can we cause a chain reaction of kindness through our actions?  We might gather balm for others as well as for ourselves if we see matters in another "Light".

Have you had an epiphany over anything lately?  Or about God?  If not, think about special feelings or events in your life and see if there is a revelation or ephiphany that you missed.

I recalled one as he spoke.  Once I had a dream in which God told me He was sending me a gift.  It was a very pleasant dream and shortly after, I received two gifts on the same day which could only be from God.  I wondered if one of them was the gift of my dream.   Off and on,  I wondered about this.

But which one was my 'dream gift'?  They were equally wonderful.   One day, much later, I had an epiphany.  They were both from God as are many other blessings He has bestowed upon me,  Everything He sends me is a gift.  And in His Wisdom, I felt He sent me two together and knew I would ponder and wonder about it.  It took awhile, but I got it.  All good things come frm God and all are His Gifts and I gve gratitude not just for one ~ but for all.

Actions have reactions.  And no actions have reactions.   Pass along an action that someone will react in happiness ~especially if it will be a surprise.  It will be balm for both of you.

I told the priest after mass that my reaction to his action of homily would be to create this article and pass on his words.  I also told him his homilies were wonderful.

{C} Marie Coppola January 2017

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About Marie Coppola

Marie Coppola A long-time human resources administrator and paralegal (B.S. in Business Administration/ Psychology, Certified Paralegal), Marie writes to aid employees with positive career options and resources, and to assist in career development solutions for students and employees; counsels on resumes, securing employment, and being successful with promotable possibilities. Marie finds inspiration in her faith, which she enjoys passing on to others, and finds gratification in helping others wherever she can. Got a question, need advice? Marie can be reached at mcopp@ymail.com