Is 60:1-6 Eph 3:2-3, 5-6 Mt 2:1-12
A school principal called the house of one of his teachers to find out why he was not in school. He was greeted by a small child who whisper: “Hello?”
“Is your Daddy home?” asked the principal. “Yes,” answered the whispering child.
“May I talk with him?” the man asked. “No,” replied the small voice.
“Is your Mommy there?” he asked. “Yes,” came the answer.
“May I talk with her?” Again the small voice whispered, “No.”
“All right,” said the man, “Is there any one there besides you?”
“Yes,” whispered the child, “A policeman.” “A policeman? Now, may I speak with the policeman?”
“No, he’s busy,” whispered the child.. “Busy doing what?” asked the principal.
“Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the fireman,” came the child’s answer.
“The fireman? Has there been a fire in the house or something?” asked the worried man.
“No,” whispered the child. “Then what are the police and fireman doing there?”
Still whispering, the young voice replied with a soft giggle, “They are looking for me.”
It would be pretty hard for the “rescuers” to find this child as long as the child keeps hiding from them. The child has to leave his hiding place and come out into the open for the fireman to find him.
Today’s celebration of the Epiphany is one of the oldest feasts in the Church, older even than the celebration of Christmas. The word epiphany is from the Greek word that means “to show oneself.”
The main focus in the Roman Catholic Church on the Epiphany is the revelation of Jesus to the Gentiles, symbolized by the story of the Magi. God came to this world. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… and the Word became Flesh and made his dwelling among us”. Feast of Epiphany is the manifestation of God’s love for every one rich or poor, learned or illiterate for people of all nations, salvation for all men and women in the world. God came to be with us. The feast of Epiphany tells us that we need to go to God as well. It’s not one way but two ways traffic. God sent His Son Jesus, and made His presence through him, and invites us all to be with him through Jesus our Savior.
Marco Polo journeyed to India and China; Christopher Columbus journeyed to America; Armstrong journeyed to the moon. They all undertook daring adventures. Likewise, the shepherds and the wise men, as narrated in the Gospel, journeyed to find the newborn babe Jesus. Leaving the security of their homeland, wise men ventured forth into a strange country in order to find the Savior. From the gospel account we could conclude to different categories of people reacting to the appearance of the star. Many, perhaps, didn’t even look up and notice anything new. Others in passing may have seen the star, but were preoccupied with themselves or their work and forgot about it. Some like Herod were upset and afraid: the star seemed to announce threatening news for them. Still others may have seen the star but didn’t know what it signified or pointed to. The chief priests and the teachers of the law recognized the meaning of the star, but didn’t follow it.
The wise men saw, recognized and followed the star till it led them to the Christ Child. On seeing the child, “they prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
Now to which category of people do we belong? Or let us ask ourselves what prevents you and me to go to Christ our Savior? We do notice something of Herod in us. King Herod was a selfish man. He loved power position, name and fame. He would do anything to have these. He killed not only the innocent children; he killed his wife Mariamne and her parents and brother. He killed two of his own sons to safe guard his position as King. Something of Herod is in us i.e., selfishness, lust for power and position that prevents often from making our journey to Christ our Savior.
We also sometimes turn to behave like the scribes and teachers of the law. We have sufficient knowledge of Jesus. But we don’t make any effort to follow him. We have people who are preoccupied with many things in the world, but do not have time to come for Mass and other church activities.
We need to come out of ourselves, our selfishness, pride, jealousy, indifference, being crazy for power and position, name and fame and make the spiritual journey to worship Christ our Savior. It would be pretty hard for the “rescuers” to find the child as long as the child keeps hiding from them. The child has to leave his hiding place and come out into the open for the fireman to find him. It will be hard for God to offer us Salvation, if we keep ourselves hiding in the darkness of sin. Like the wise men, let us begin our spiritual journey to meet Christ our Savior following the teachings of the Church which is our star. Amen.