Sunday, January 3, 2021
HOMILY: EPIPHANY OF THE LORD 2021
Pandemic is one of the darkest moments in both religious and civic world history. According to the recent newsletter of the Knights of Columbus it has resulted in lower and lower church attendance which requires the work of both clergy and laity – including the Knights of Columbus. On the part of temporal goods, millions had lost their jobs, economy had crushed and poverty is extremely rampant worldwide. However, in the midst of uncertainties, there are beacon of lights trying hard to penetrate the thick dark clouds. When the world stopped, the air quality we breathe was purified. Families have more time to spend for each other. People had learned to live simply and obediently. Churches were locked down but the word of God was delivered right in the midst of families. In other words, darkness might be prevailing but light though flickering is overcoming.
We are celebrating the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord or the Feast of the Magi. It teaches us to focus our attention on the light who Jesus Christ. First, we have to follow the light. The Magi all the way from their respective countries were only guided by the radiant light of the star in the midst of unpredictability. Following the light has a very profound meaning. The wise men did not just go there to confirm their forecast but they went to pay homage to the new born king which is expressed by offering the best gift available in their kingdom. To worship the Lord means surrendering our lives which is represented by our presents. Worshipping also requires an act of sacrifice which is described by the journey of the magi. Worship does not stop right in front of Jesus but should have persisting effect. Remember that the magi went home hitting a different road. The fruit of worship are change of ways in our life and conversion of the heart.
We have to see the light in everything around us. Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians reminded us that it is God’s grace to know the revelation about Jesus Christ. We do not need extraordinary revelation and vision as proof for God’s existence. It is in the ordinary walk of life that God is revealing himself. Once I asked why Mary made several apparitions in Medjugorje. Bosnia and Herzegovina had devastation of great deal because of war for several decades. Jesus said, when you fed the hungry, visited the sick, clothed the naked and consoled the lonely you also did it to me. Give something and live like poor and there we will certainly encounter Jesus.
We have to be shining light at all times. The first reading exhorts us to arise and shine for the Lord Jesus has arisen before you! When we truly worship and see Jesus in all things, He will definitely live with and in us so that He may shine in us. Saint Mother Therese prayed “shine through me and be so in me. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so as to shine so to shine as to be light to others. The light, O Jesus will all from you; none it will be mine; It will be you, shining on others through me. Amen!