Epiphany: “We have seen his star at rising…”

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Magi came to adore the baby King. My wonderful pastor Father Matthew gave a great homily today, and I would like to share it will you all as best as I remember. I hope his message speaks to you as it did to me.

His star is a sign of God’s miraculous power. As the Psalmist says, “The heavens are telling the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1). God used nature itself to proclaim his son’s birth. He used the stars which men worshipped to point to himself, and when the Magi saw Christ’s star they knew something wonderful had happened. The star stands as a testament to the miraculous birth of the King, whom the very heavens proclaim as Lord. “There is no speech, nor are there words” (3), yet the lights of Heaven shout out praise of the true Light who has come into the world.

His star is a sign of unity among God’s people. Isaiah proclaims, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (9:2). I thought of this verse today, of the “Galilee of the Gentiles” as Father Matthew spoke. The revelation to the Magi is unique—they are not Jews at all, but come to worship the King of the Jews. So often we foster disunity and discord among ourselves with artificial division. We discriminate based on race, sex, income, even religion, and think that we are “good” people. But Jesus didn’t come to make us better than other people, he came “that [we might] be one” (Jn. 17:11). He is the Light who dispels the darkness of sin and division, and makes us all one family through his body and blood. He came for Jews, for Gentiles, for people of every race and nation. We were all sinners, but he came to make us sons and daughters of one Father.

His star is a sign of true conversion. When the Magi were warned in a dream, they went back to their country by a different route. Surely their lives were forever changed, just as their route was. When we discover Christ, our life also takes a different route, and we too are changed forever. I’m reminded of the Greek word ginomai. Though the word comes from ginosko, which means “I know,” it actually means “I become.” Like St. Paul says, when we know Jesus, we become  “a new creation.” Christ is the true Star and Light who guides and enlightens us. His Spirit walks with us in our daily life, encouraging us and strengthening us as we seek continual conversion of heart and mind.

What about you? Have you too seen Christ’s star, and come to worship him? Have you allowed him to dispel your darkness and fear, to release you from the evil and hurt you feel? Does his light now shine within you? This Epiphany, let’s “cast of the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:12). Let’s try to be loving and kind, “For [Christ] is our peace, [and] has made us…one” (Eph. 2:14). With the true Light as our guide, let’s make this year one of service and devotion to our Lord and all his family.

In His Sacred Heart,

Erica

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