To watch Deacon Andy’s Homily for The Epiphany of the Lord: CLICK HERE!
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-6; Matthew 2:1-12
There’s a commercial about naming a star for someone, you may have heard in past years…(Star-Registry)
Today we hear about the star that led the Wise Men to the Lord…
As we live our lives, at times God touches them through someone else like a parent, friend, spouse, or even a stranger. And they can act as stars in our lives. Guiding us in any number of ways. Hopefully to what is good, hopefully to God, and to all that is good and Godly!
And as we travel the road of life that led us to Jesus, like the Wise Men – what gifts do we bring to Jesus? Often, we speak on the Epiphany about the gifts the Wise Men brought to Jesus: gold, frankincense and myrrh.
But if you think about it, their gifts were not the most important gift. Rather, the most important gift was and is JESUS.
And their gifts were but a token, a symbol of their GRATITUDE for the gift of Jesus to them and to all people, for all times.
What gift or gifts might we give to the Lord today… tomorrow… in GRATITUDE to God?
Just maybe it might be living an increasingly Christ-centered life.
Our God, asks you and me, people made in his image, to be co-redeemers with him; leading others to Jesus, not only by our words, but by our lives of faith.
Once the Magi encounter Jesus, a new beginning started for them. They went home by another way and one can only imagine, how they were changed for the good. One can only imagine the stories they shared with all they met, all those years after, because of the their encounter with the baby Jesus. One can only imagine how others came to the Lord because of their witness of faith.
On this Feast of The Epiphany, may we be the Wise Men and Wise Women of 2016, who follow the stars set before us daily, by our God, and by the people and events of our daily life that lead us to Jesus.
And, just maybe like the Wise Men who went home some 2000 plus years ago… may we be the brightly shining stars of today who lead our families, our friends, our neighbors, and all we encounter this day and everyday to Christ our Light.
A rabbi once asked his students, “How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and day begins?”
One student suggested, “Day begins when, from a distance, you can distinguish a dog from a sheep.”
“No,” replied the Rabbi.
Another student asked, “Is it when you can distinguish between a fig tree and a grapevine?”
Again the rabbi answered, “No.”
“Please tell us the answer,” said the students.
“It is,” said the rabbi, “when you can look into the face of other human beings and you have enough light in you to recognize them as your brothers and sisters. Up until then, it is night, and darkness is still with us.”
On this Feast of Epiphany, we are reminded that God has and continues to reveal his light, his forgiveness, his joy, his love to the people of yesterday and today.
Yet, even though St Paul, reminded the people of his day and ours, that all people are co-heirs, members of the same body and co-partners in the promise of Jesus thru the Gospel —- it has not yet been fully realized among us.
As long as there are divisions…
As long as there are bias, prejudice and ethnic hatred…
We continue to find ourselves in a darkness that longs for the dawn.
The challenge of today’s Feast of the Epiphany is to move from words to actions of life… Where each of us reaches out to another and values the other as a child of God….as brothers and sisters.
The Feast of the Epiphany often centers on the three Gifts the Magi brought to Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh….
Pope Francis in his New Year’s message reminds us of three modern day gifts we can bring to one another namely:
1. Respect for each other
2. Acceptance of other’s differences
3. Taking care of one another
As we are every weekend at the end of Mass, we are sent forth into the world to bring the light of Christ to the world and allow the light of Christ to illumine all we are, all we say, and all we do — Until next weekend when God gathers us together again.