Epiphany celebrates the heroism and gallantry of the Magi. Their story starts with an inspiring star that propel led them to travel from a faraway land to worship the newborn King of the Jews. Armed with nothing else but trust in a brightly shining star, these astrologers left the security and comfort of their homeland to venture into an uncertain journey in search of a child. We know how difficult it is to stake everything in pursuit of a dream. It must have been doubly difficult to base one’s own search, one’s future and goals on a distant heavenly body – however illuminating and inviting that star may be.
Before Christmas, we have seen the journey undertaken by Mary, the mother of Jesus. But at least, Mary saw a vision of the Archangel Gabriel, assuring her of her unique participation in the plan of God. Joseph, the carpenter and foster father of Jesus also had a vision in a dream that ascertained for him that he was walking along the right path. The shepherds too, saw an angel, later a host of angels that led them to the manger. A vision is more convincing and more reassuring. It offers more security and certainty that what we do is right.
Though surprising and frightening at first, a vision from God is already a stamp of approval, and a more direct proof from heaven. There was a leap of faith on the part of Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, but at least they were made confident by the heavenly vision. That is why, in our Gospel, the STAR represents the faith of the Magi. They put their faith in the meaning of the star and their faith was rewarded. Indeed, they found the newborn of the Jews. On finding Him, they needed more faith – for they found someone without a throne, without an army and without riches. It was just a baby and his mother. Faith assured them that he was the reason the star shone in the heavens. So they opened their gifts and offered their treasures.
How very much like the Magi we all are. For not all of us can claim to have a direct vision of God. Good for the saints and holy people! But ordinary mortals like us, like the Magi, must rely on the star of faith to give us signs to live our lives with inspiration and confidence. God gives us the star of faith that leads us to the Lord. We have God’s Word in the Bible, the power of the sacraments, the teachings of the Church, the Bread and the Wine now made into the Body and Blood of Jesus. In times of uncertainty, when we do not have the visions, these are like brightly shining stars that tell us how to continue serving the Lord and loving one another.
#24 A JOKE FROM ST. JOE: We, Catholics call the POPE, “The Shepherd of the Flock.” The newly elected Pope is
a German. Therefore some people call him the ‘GERMAN SHEPHERD’.
This Sunday is the Julian Calendar Christmas and National Migration Week begins. The 8th is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. On the 9th, the 1st Week in Ordinary Time begins. Year 2 of the Weekday Lectionary for Mass is used and Green Vestments will be used again. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. Happy Three kings to one and all. God Bless!
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,