We have the opportunity to participate in an Epiphany tradition this year along with many other Christians around the world – the chalking of the doors.
In this tradition, chalk is used, along with prayers, to bless a home for the year. Over the doorway is written:
The numbers represent the year, while the ‘C,’ ‘M’ and ‘B’ have two meanings. Firstly, they stand for the traditional names given to the Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Secondly, they stand for the prayer, Christus mansionem benedictat – Christ bless this home.
This simple Epiphany blessing is a reminder that while sometimes we come to Jesus, at other times, Jesus comes to us.
We mark our doorframes as a reminder to treat every single person who walks into our homes as if they are Jesus; to honour them as the Magi honoured the Christ-Child; to welcome them as the Holy Family welcomed the Magi after their long travels.
This really is a wonderful opportunity and reminder that prayer, blessing, and liturgy do not just belong in the church (the building), but wherever the Church (you, the people) lives and moves and has its being. It is a gift for us, to enrich and infuse our lives with wonder, mystery and the Divine.
So, I encourage you to invite over a neighbour, a family member, maybe a fellow parishioner and chalk your doors – bless your homes, and all who enter and dwell within. May you encounter Christ himself there.
Thanks be to God!