Epiphany and Geocaching

Friends,

the following struck me  from Matthew’s Gospel,

“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”

So I Google’ed “search diligently” and found a website about Geocaching and how to be really good at it.  I thought about how we “search diligently” for Jesus, and perhaps the helpful hints on geocaching could translate to a spiritual search too.

 

What to Bring

A GPS receiver, topo map and compass are mandatory items. To ensure a safe search, you should also pack the following items. In searching ‘diligently for the child (Jesus) the three things that or mandatory times are: our intellect/common Sense (GPS receiver), the Scriptures (map), and the catechism (compass)

Flashlight: Don’t underestimate the time it may take you to find the cache. Be prepared in case dusk falls sooner than you expected.

“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.” Mark 13.

What could represent a flashlight? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Jn. 8:12. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Follow Jesus, don’t try to lead Jesus, or walk with Jesus. FOLLOW.

Water bottle: As with any outdoor activity, staying hydrated keeps your muscles happy and your mind sharp. Take along an ample supply.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. Luke 21:34.

I know for myself, if I don’t have enough water, I get sleepy, headachy and lethargic. They (whoever “they” are) say we need 8 glasses of water a day to remain hydrated. Hydration is our normal state; dehydration is abnormal. Having a water bottle recognizes we must plan for the abnormal. Jesus must have realized we would be “abnormal,” for he said “I am the living water.”

“….but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

This means we must come to Jesus for the water. He carries the extra supply. If we are looking for Jesus, how can we find that extra canteen? Perhaps the Woman at the Well can help us. She went to a place where water is found. To find Jesus, are we looking in the right places? Scripture, prayer, church, the sacraments, even nature?

Cell phone: Geocaching solo can be a welcome respite from the real world. But if you go alone, leave your “flight plan” with a loved one and take along a cell phone. Prayer.

First-aid kit: Get familiar with your terrain before you go. Your pack should include the basics as well as items specific for the environment. Sacrament of Confession

Extra batteries: Carry spares for each electronic device you take along, such as your GPS unit and camera. Retreats

Notebook and 2 pens: Keep a running log of all your caches. Record waypoints and coordinates for future reference. Jot down your impressions of the landscape. Journaling

Insect repellent and sunscreen: Apply before you go and take them along to reapply along the way. You may want to consider bug-repelling and/or SPF-rated clothing. Romans 10:13 gives the best insect repellent. Of course, insects could be a metaphor for the devil or temptations. Pa ul wrote, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Calling upon the name of Jesus, especially out loud, will repel the devil and temptations! 

“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”

Searching “diligently” for the Lord takes effort, planning, and follow through. And like King Herod found out, you can’t sit on your throne in your palace and let others search for the Christ child for you. You must get off your comfortable throne and follow that star.

Only when you yourself put forth the effort to know the Christ Child, then…..

…… you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.

Blessed Epiphany!  The Little Christmas.

Father Ken

 

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About SLCwichita

A premier retreat & conference center operated by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. We welcome you to this holy ground to rest, renew, restore & respond.
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