January 5, 2020 – Epiphany of the Lord
Click here for the readings http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010520.cfm
What is it that drives you most?
Or are you looking for someone who will make you happy, or looking for something that we will give contentment in your life?
Are you in search for someone who will fill your emptiness and sadness or of something that will give you the success that you have been dreaming of?
Somehow, each of us is looking or searching for something that will truly make us joyful, peaceful and fulfilling. We aspire for that and hope for it. Thus, we take risks to achieve our dreams and hopes. These risks include venturing in other places, investing our time and energy, developing and forming new relationships. And we know that in every venture, trials and difficulties are also present.
With this in mind, this brought me to what we celebrate today which is the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord or the manifestation of the Lord Jesus. This solemnity tells us also of the story of the three magi or wise men who have been in search of the shining star. These three men who were probably, astrologers, had the same goal. They have been following and searching for this mysterious star that had appeared in heaven. The star that they had seen could have been their dream too.
Indeed, that star filled them with dreams and hopes. They followed it from where they came from. They took the risk of journeying into unknown territories to find that something that will truly satisfy their thirst of knowledge or hunger for wisdom. True enough, the three men found the best gift in their life and found the fulfilment and joy that they have been looking for. In their search, they have found and encountered the Lord who manifested Himself to them.
Little did they know, it was the Lord who invited them. It was through that star that the three were invited by the Lord. And because they were open to God’s revelation, the three were led to the family of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Behold, through the baby Jesus, they have seen the face of God.
On this feast of the Epiphany the focus is not really the three kings, the main character here, is the baby boy Jesus. God reveals himself as a vulnerable baby, a powerless little boy in the arms of Mary and Joseph. It is very interesting to remember this. The three magi did not find the little King in the home of the royalties or powerful politicians; not even with the rich merchants and businessmen or with an influential family. The little king was with an insignificant mother and father from the almost unknown town of Nazareth.
This image of the baby made the powerful and corrupt king Herod to be troubled. Thus, king Herod got afraid upon hearing the birth of a new king. He was threatened not by a powerful army or civil insurgency or a possible assassination but by a small and vulnerable baby.
This tells us that God manifests Himself in a humble way, in the most vulnerable way of being a baby, born in a family. This tells us too that strength is not with the powerful and rich, it is with those who are weak. Greatness is not with the popular, influential and corrupt but with the humble and poor.
This is God’s invitation for us this Sunday – to seek the Lord always who shall give us the true joy and contentment in life, who shall fill and satisfy our hunger and thirst for love, for healing, for peace.
Let us be discerning then. Discernment made the three men, wise. They discerned well and became committed to follow the star, to follow the Lord. Discern to follow the Lord by being open to his invitations and revelations. But let us remember, God reveals Himself in places where we do not expect Him to be. God makes himself more known with the weak and the powerless, with the insignificant and the poor.
Like the three wise men, let us also offer the Lord our gifts as symbols of our love and devotion to Him. The three men offered him gold because He is King, frankincense because He is a Priest, and myrrh because He is a prophet. Let us offer the Lord our willingness to serve others that does not ask anything for a return, with our sacrifice that does not seek any payment or make complaints, and with our commitment to live an honest and compassionate Christian life that does not discriminate the weak and the poor, that does not condemn the sinners but to be merciful, upholds what is true and just and is not afraid to stand up against the bully, the corrupt and unjust powerful figures like Herod.
Hopefully, by seeking the Lord who is everything in our life, we too shall grow in our faith and commitment as Christians today, humble and honest, wise and discerning of God’s marvellous manifestations in us. Hinuat pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR