January 8, Sunday of the Christmas Week
The Epiphany of the Lord
Daily readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6; Ephesians 3: 2-3a, 5-6, Gospel: Matthew 2: 1-12
The solemnity of the Epiphany reminds us of the manifestation of our Lord. If the visit of the shepherds symbolizes of the manifestation of our Lord to Israel, the visit of the Magi to the child lying in the manger symbolizes our Lord’s manifestation to gentiles. The core message of this day is that God reveals Himself to those who search for Him.
The Magi represent everyone who seeks God. The guiding star represents the Divine Guidance and Providence that every God seeker experiences. The palace of Herod and the events that happened there symbolize the hurdles expected in the life of a God seeker.
The dogmatic constitution of Vatican II on the church, Lumen Gentium calls the church the ‘Pilgrim Church’. Every member of the church is a pilgrim seeking God.
The solemnity of epiphany helps us to think of the hurdles that can come in the way of a pilgrim.
First Hurdle: Walls and Roofs of Herod’s Palace: The majestic and magnificent structure of Herod’s palace blocks the light of the guiding star from reaching the magi. Herod’s palace is a place of luxury, pleasure, power, arrogance, and aristocracy. It can refer to the materialistic culture to which we may also be exposed. A materialistic culture and mentality, confine human beings to the huts of pleasure and luxury, preventing access to Divine guidance.
Second Hurdle: Chief Priests and Scholars: They are good researchers of the Scriptures. They make a good research on Savior but do not search for God. But the magi not only researched the manifesting God but also really search for Him. Once a bible scholar said, “All my life long I did research on Christ, but I did not search for Him”. Not searching for God is a big omission in the life of a God seeker.
Third Hurdle: Audience with Herod: Herod is a crooked, cunning, and misguiding person. He tries to misguide the magi with his audience. It can refer to some of the growing philosophies of the modern world like secularism. It is a kind of indifference in religious and spiritual matters. People don’t care about the role of Jesus in their lives. People do not really feel the need for God in their lives because they are controlled by materialistic security. An individualistic world encourages individuals to be on their own islands, discouraging human relations and dependency.
- Do the materials and luxury of this world prevent me from my access to the guiding star/ experience of Divine Providence and guidance?
- Am I only a researcher in my spiritual journey or do I really search for the manifesting God?
- Am I misguided by my audience with certain ideologies and experiences of this world in my God seeking?
Let us welcome the manifesting God in our hearts. Amen
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.