Pastors Desk: The Epiphany of the Lord / C

Posted 5th January 2019 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 6th January 2019 - The Epiphany of the Lord /C
3-wise-menToday we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, perhaps one of the most important feasts of the Church’s calendar. It is about the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Messiah to the whole world. There are three events in the life of Jesus which make up the Epiphany: His baptism in the Jordan, the wedding feast at Cana and of course the event we celebrate today, the adoration of the Magi, the wise men from the East.

We know precious little about the wise men apart from what we read in St. Matthew’s Gospel. We know that they came from the east; we know of their encounter with Herod and the religious leaders of the time, of the advice and directions they received; and how, by following the star, they eventually came to Christ and his family and gave their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and worshipped him. There is an ancient tradition identifying the “Magi of Bethlehem” as Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India.

There was a survey of school children carried out in England recently. One of the questions was: How did the wise men find their way to the child Jesus? The choices given were: by a star, by railway, by Google Maps, by plane.¬†About 30% of the children said the wise men found the Child Jesus by using Google Maps. While some may be horrified or amused by the children’s answers, what is important is the focus of the question and that is Jesus Christ. How did they, the wise men get to the Christ child, the one sent by God, the Word of God made flesh, who came among us, who lived among us as one of us?

Though we hear nothing more about them after they meet Jesus and go back to their own country, their encounter with Jesus and Mary and Joseph not doubt changed them forever. He was the objective of their long journey and their act of worship was the culmination of their searching and their longing to be close to the One they knew God has sent.

Our search for Jesus Christ, the anointed one of God, our deep inner yearning to be close to God brings us to Mass today. We meet the same Jesus Christ, in Word and in Sacrament, in this Eucharist we celebrate and participate in, giving our gift of our self. This is our act of Worship, our coming together with the one who was born in the stable in Bethlehem, who was visited by the shepherds and who was worshipped by the Magi; come, let us adore him.

Fr. Gerry