Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Mt 2: 1-12


THERE ARE PEOPLE who often go to fortune-tellers in order to know what their future would be.  By merely looking at the stars, fortune tellers could foretell future events.  Future events for them may be good or bad, depending on the arrangement of the stars.  Sad to say, some Christians would believe more on what they say rather than what the Sacred Scripture says.  They put so much faith in fortune-tellers so much so that they tend to surrender their own fate to them.

In the gospel reading, we hear that the “star” has led the magi or wise men to the newborn “king of the Jews”.  The magi in the gospel are associated with interpretation of dreams, astrology and magic.  So, we may ask, what made them decide to go and pay homage to Mary’s child?  They could simply sit down and wonder at the star they saw.  But then, again, they set on a journey to pay homage to the newborn king of the Jews.

Firstly, being astrologers, the magi must have observed this star as extraordinary among the celestial bodies.  Perhaps they were struck by its brightness, size, or its position.  They said to Herod, ‘We saw his star at its rising.’  The wise men believe that the star reveals important information about the child Jesus.  The star was already pointing to the one who will shepherd Israel, to a leader, as prophesied in the Old Testament.  That particular star reveals the true nature of Jesus.  The star that the wise men saw serves God’s purpose and leads them to Jesus.  What happens here is that there is no more prediction of the future. The star points to the present moment. The star has pointed to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life.

Secondly, the magi "were overjoyed at seeing the star". Stars, together with the moon, are beautiful to behold at night. We can see their grandeur, as well as the marvels of God for creating these heavenly bodies. We always enjoy watching stars at night. The gospel passage stresses on the reaction of the wise men upon seeing this star. They were overjoyed. In the same way, we were also glad and overjoyed during the celebration of Christmas. We shall keep that joy in us. Even when the Christmas is over, we will still be or remain joyful because we have Jesus in our life. Jesus who is the Light or Star, is the source of joy in our life.

Thirdly, the journey of the magi can also be compared to our journey as Church. The Second Vatican Council has taught us that the Church is a ‘pilgrim Church’. It is so because the Church is on a journey towards the Fatherland, our homeland. Like the wise men, let us continue our journey full of hope in Jesus who saves. As the wise men were directed and guided by a star, so, let us also be guided by Christ while we are on a journey. If our journey is without Christ, then it could be meaningless, and in fact, impossible.

Nowadays, long-distance trips or journeys are possible with the aid or guidance of the GPS and navigation systems. Without these aids or guides, a journey can be stressful. And for some, a journey would be impossible. But with GPS as guide, there is a feeling to comfort and certainty that one would arrive at his or her destination.

Thus, in our journey towards the Father’s home, let’s have Jesus as our sure Guide. Let us always turn our gaze on the Star or Light who is Jesus. Jesus says that He is the Way, and therefore, we shall follow that Way. Through Him we would arrive at the home of the Father safely, certainly, and securely. AMEN.


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