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.