January 7, 2018

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (B) White

Is 60:1-6 • Ps 72 • Eph 3:2-3, 5-6

Mt 2:1–12 • The Visit of the Magi

1When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: 6And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,/ are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;/ since from you shall come a ruler,/ who is to shepherd my people Israel.” 7Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” 9After 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. 10They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11and 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. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.


Taking Another Way

A friend confided once how his life changed after he met his ex-girlfriend. He was able to learn how to manage his time so as to be punctual for their dates. He learned to walk at her pace, and started noticing the little details around him. He also learned how to go out of his comfort zone just to travel and see the world with her. Though their relationship did not last long, he never walked through life the same way again. 

There are moments or people in our life that radically change the way we are. These moments overwhelm us with joy that everything seems bright around us. We suddenly acquire a positive outlook in life. Without being conscious about it, we notice that we have become a better person. 

This Sunday, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. The account of the three Magi visiting Jesus is unique in the Gospel of Matthew. Epiphany (from the Greek verb epiphanein) literally means “to reveal” or “to manifest.” Jesus manifests himself to the world as represented by the three Magi. After finding the child Jesus through the guidance of the light, the Magi went home by another route. They defied the conspiracy to which they were invited by the deceitful, self-centered, and paranoid host king. Herod was so disturbed by the surprise that a new king had been born, one who would logically overthrow him. He was afraid of losing his hard-fought power, wealth, and influence.

Now that we are starting to store away our Christmas decors and carols are slowly fading, it is good to examine how our yearly commemoration changes us and leads us to grow in our spiritual life. It is how we are invited to take another way, away from our Herods in life. Our Herods can be our misgivings and untoward attitude to our friends and parents. Christmas is not only all about gift-giving and merrymaking; it is also an occasion to mature with our encounter of the Child Jesus. Let us discern God’s invitation and guidance to a “better road.” Our joy must give us another perspective and way of life and lead us to a better relationship with God and others. As we embark in this new, yearlong journey, let us ask for God’s transformative love.  

–Keiv Aires Dimatatac, SSP

 

Truth

  1. Who was the ruler of Israel when Jesus was born?
  2. How did the Magi learn about the Messiah that was to be born in Bethlehem?
  3. What did the Magi present to Mary and the Child Jesus?

Way

  1. What do you think are your Herods in life?
  2. Who or what do you think is the light that guides you closer to Jesus?
  3. To where do you think is God leading you in this different route?

Life 

  1. Make a concrete and practical action plan to achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
  2. Thank the “stars” of your life who guided you throughout the years.
  3. Make a prayer of discernment that would lead to “another path,” to a better you.
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