Gospel Reflection: Epiphany of the Lord
Malvern Minute

 

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

JANUARY 8, 2016The Visit of the Magi

ALLELUIA

We saw His star at its rising

And have come to do him homage.

ALLELUIA

                  

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew: 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 Messiah 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.

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD

 

REFLECTION

Attention, all seekers of God:  The Almighty has made Himself accessible in the Incarnation of His Divine Son as a Human Person … one like us in all things but sin.

The story of the Magi has caught the attention of believers of each and every age. From the time the story was represented in the first painted art of the Christians on the walls of the catacombs in Rome until today’s proclamation, the story finds new excitement in the hearts of all people who search diligently for God — who search diligently for the child!

Saint Matthew’s Gospel boldly proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and not just those of the Jewish nation!   And, consequently the Gospel encourages people of all nations, all races and all religions to persevere in searching after God because God has revealed Himself — has made Himself PRESENT in His Son, Jesus Christ.  The Magi are given to us as the model of genuine seekers – a worthwhile quality for all of us who walk by Faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

In contrast to Herod-type individuals who prefer to sit back and let others do the searching for them, the Magi search diligently, and therefore were rewarded with a true encounter with God!

Embedded in the story are challenges for us today: If non-believers can find God through the natural means of a star, why is it that Christians who have super-natural means of Word and Sacrament are so quick to complain that He is not visible!  Is it that He is not visible, or is it that we are searching for the wrong one; or not searching diligently enough; or not using the proper light provided for us?  Embrace the Way of the Magi: seek only Christ; be diligent in your efforts; and use the stars provided, namely the Gospel, the Sacraments, and prayer.

Do not become discouraged when you encounter Herod-types or those who only add to your confusion or doubt.   The world is filled with distracting lights that point us in wrong directions and spot-light false gods.  Too many diligent efforts are wasted in searching for things that stimulate or sedate.  Magi of every age seek the true light that leads to eternal light and life!   When you feel you have lost your way, or the Herod-like world attempts to deceive you, remember the Magi and follow their way.  Bath your questions of faith and your moments of doubt in the light of the Word of God and prayerful reflection.  Resist discouragement even though the journey may be long and challenging.  Remember the Magi: … they set out (again); 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.  By preference and diligence, you will find the child!

May this New Year be filled with opportunities for all of us to encounter Jesus — traveling through life by the Way of Jesus!

 

ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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