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Homilies :: Latin Rite
SUNDAY Download This Homily

The Epiphany of the Lord

 Is 60: 1-6

Ps 72: 1-2. 7-8. 10-11. 12-13

Eph 3: 2-3a. 5-6

 

Gospel MT 2:1-12


When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:

And 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."
Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
He 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." After 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. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and 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.And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.


EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

 

 

Today, the church celebrates the feast of epiphany. A realization that Christ is the Son of God! Adoration of the Magi consolidates the event of incarnation of Jesus as Son of God.

 

 

It is interesting to note what Wikipedia, the most sought –after-reference- web site, explains the word epiphany.  An epiphany is an experience of sudden and striking realization. As it had happened with Sir Isaac Newton.  Hitherto unexplained, a falling apple made him realize that everything falls down because of the gravitational force exerted by the earth. Thus epiphany is a situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.

 

 

It was not even in the wildest dreams of anyone that a helpless babe born in a manger could be Son of God, the promised saviour the Israelites were waiting for. Neither the religious and political leaders nor the devout ordinary men had a clue. But the magi sharp in their observation could not take away their attention from a particular star in the story which appears, disappears, leads and then stands over a house. They watched, followed and dare to be guided by the star. And Lo! Here happens the miracle of epiphany. Hitherto a fragile babe in a manger born for an illiterate couple is the focus of attention of the most known wise men of the time and they bent their knees in reverence and they did undo the treasure chest they have been carrying for a while and offer to him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Thus they had that enlightening realization of epiphany. God became man and dwelt among us.

 

 

Unlike any other organisms or creatures, Humans are a race class apart and it is their ability to have epiphanies what makes the trick. For a grazing cow green grass is nothing but its fodder. How much ever they try, they won’t have any other deeper realizations or enlightenment. But for a human being a sudden enlightenment could lead to realize the umpteen shades of green the grass carries and now they know how much a green grass can contribute for the existence of the entire universe by the emission of oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. For him, the ordinary greenness of grass which is only a fodder for a cow turns to be an extraordinary life giving gift of God. The miracle of Epiphany.

 

 

A beggar begging for a living had been an ordinary scenario but an epiphany changed Sr.Teresa to Mother Teresa. This epiphany made her take up a fourth vow and she was to give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor. And now millions live happily solely due to her responding to the epiphany she had.

 

 

A couple of months ago the world was inspired by an another epiphany that had been realized in Malala Yousafzai, a petite, beautiful, innocent and young girl from Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. Responding positively to the epiphany that getting education is each girl child’s prerogative, she defied the unjust ban proclaimed and enforced by the Taliban on gilrs going to school. She refused to be bullied. She wanted to study in her school along with her friends and amongst her peers and she was not going to be dictated by a set of bullies. Malala’s defiance was a slap in the face of the brutes. The savages had to crush this defiance and they did. The Taliban painted a bull’s eye on the little girl and let loose their killers. One afternoon as she finished school and was playing with her friends in the school yard there was gunfire and Malala fell, shot through her neck and head.  An epitome of courage and bravery. Thanks to the epiphany she had realized. Malala lives. No hatred, no bitterness, just an ironclad resolve to continue doing what she is determined to do, to go to school, every day, alone if required, but defiant and determined.

 

 

Epiphnay! Three wise men bent their knees in front of a silly babe born in a manger!

 

Epiphany! An ordinary nun turns to be the most revered lady in the world for serving the poorest of the poor.

 

Epiphany! A girl of 14 years becomes the symbol of courage and defiance inspiring the millions of girl children to learn and lead life worth.

 

 

We need epiphanies. Let us open our eyes and ears and all the more our hearts to witness and become part of that epiphany. A moment of ignorance and we may miss it badly. We need epiphanies so that there shall be peace, love and courage abound in this new year.

 

 

Dr. Joby Pulickan CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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