Written by Sunnie Lain, Director of Conferences and Community Outreach.
THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
January 7, 2018
Gospel: (Matthew 2:1-12)
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. …Herod sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child…” After their audience with the King, they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
What happens if we would lead our life as if the star stopped on us? The answer to this question is most startling when we consider the gospel as a whole: what it means and what happens is that the only way to light and life is to die to self so that darkness can be overcome. Life has it sorrows and sufferings. It also has its joys and celebrations: the mystery of salvation has been revealed in Jesus. And in us. (Living Liturgy, p.32)
The Magi were searchers. They traveled by night, following a star, moving like pilgrims, struggling through deserts. That is so often the human way. Most of us grope in the darkness most of our lives. The wise men’s search revealed to them how closely light and darkness, birth and death, joy and sorrow, belief and unbelief are interlocked. It is crucial for us to recognize ourselves as searchers, as did the Magi. Our life is a journey, in which we often travel by night. In fact, the Lord’s star is visible for us only when we acknowledge the darkness. Life holds so many unanswered questions, so many unfulfilled desires. Our hearts find ultimate fulfillment only in God, whom we search for during the entire course of our lives. This is what the Magi proclaim to us very clearly. (Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, p. 81)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
How has the Lord’s star been visible to you in times of questioning and darkness?
O Lord, bring light to the darkness as we search for you,
-Let your light shine upon us.
As the star guided the Magi,
-May we be guided by your light and grace.
May we, like the Magi, offer you our gifts each day,
-As we discover you in the midst of our lives. Amen