“I have seen the light”; “Have you seen the light?” Yes, such statements used to make me cringe whenever our separated brethren would approach Catholics such as myself with these words. I remember wondering “What light are they talking about?” Well, today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord and I couldn’t help but recall such during the sermon when Monseigneur talked of the revelation of God’s plan seen by the 3 magi following the bright star in the sky.

Epiphany comes from the word “epiphaneia,” meaning manifestation or appearance. Like Christmas, the origin of the feast is a pagan feast. The feast of the sun-god was already celebrated in Egypt for the winter solstice on 6th January. On the previous night, the pagans of Alexandria commemorated the birth of their god Aeon, supposedly born of a virgin celebrating the triumph of light over darkness. Owing to its popularity, Christianity assumed the feast and raised it to the standard of being the revelation of God in His Son, Jesus Christ as the light of the world. This light is to be adored and worshipped by all and celebrated as that which dispels all darkness. Although Roman Catholicism narrows the Epiphany to the single event of the visit of the Magi, while in the East it is called Theophany and celebrates the appearance of God at the Baptism of Jesus, both events stress the manifestation of God made incarnate and the divine power of His son.

I often wonder why the star was revealed to only the magis who were priest astrologers and then I remember that some people look but do not see. I recall when I was young{er}, if you wanted to torture me, all you needed to do was tell me to look for something. I would be looking for something and complain that I could not find it when it would be staring me in the face! I believe that there was such a mask over the eyes of those before the Epiphany; before God chose to reveal Himself to the eastern men and in turn to the pagans and eventually to us.

Monseigneur gave the following reasons why we do not see the light:
1. Inertia: He stated that we have forgotten our identity as the church; as the Body of Christ. We are focused on building church buildings instead of building ourselves up to be the temple of God.

2. Ignorance: He cited Hosea 4:6 where God laments that “His people perish for lack of knowledge” and enjoined us to actively participate in church activities and key into the mission of the church. He pointed out that most parishioners do not know the mission of their parish and decried the tendency of church societies being more of social gatherings than fruitful centers.

3. Negative Understanding: He commented on the mechanical way of worship by those who do not worship God in spirit and truth and reminded us of the need to expand upon the doctrinal teaching and seek the Lord as the magis did.

4. Distractions: He pointed out that the distractions of society seen in the noisy and instantaneous lifestyle has caused many to stray from the guiding light of Christ. He urged us to find our way back and focus on the essence of it all which is Jesus. Jesus should be the center of our lives and nothing else.

It was God’s plan from the start to reveal Himself again to Mankind after the fall in Genesis and this was done at the Epiphany and is to be done again at the end of time as seen in Titus 2:11 and Titus 2:13. It is significant that the eastern kings bowed down and presented their gold, frankincense and myrrh, not only because these valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil, but more so because they were symbols of their own office. In essence, the magis were bowing down to a more superior power after giving up their treasures and ways of divination and sorcery. What treasure do we have to surrender to Jesus? How often do we bow down before Him and offer Him all we have and are? The fact that after seeing Jesus, the magi departed on “another way” also stresses the dramatic impact that the epiphany had on them and their consequent departure from their previous lifestyle.

As I ponder upon the epiphany, I pray that we too may be guided by this star in the sky which has become incarnate and now dwells within us as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
I pray that we too may experience daily manifestations of God by using our spiritual eye.
I pray that we too may look and see and not lose sight of His light so that we may also say, that not only have we seen the light but that we also exhibit it

Jesus is indeed the Light of the World. May He dispel all darkness in our lives and brings us to everlasting life. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.


1 Recent Comments

  • Lucia

    Well written. Thank you for passing on yhr message in a simple but rich way. God bless you and establish the works of your hands. Amen. May God bless your ministry.

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