The Search for God and the Light of God

Jan 4, 2019

Gospel Reflection, The Epiphany of the Lord
Isaiah 60: 1-6; Ephesians 3: 2-3a, 5-6; Matthew 2: 1-12


The Search for God and the Light of God

Today, on this feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate the great event in which the kings traveled to see Jesus.  We reflect on the great and tender moment when they reached their destination and prostrated themselves before Jesus offering their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  But in order to reach this moment when they looked upon Jesus and sat with him, they first had to go on a long and difficult journey.  Along the way they stopped in Jerusalem to ask, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?”  These words reveal a deep truth about us:  We are all made for God and we have a great desire to seek him. 

It is surprising to think that the kings would travel on a long journey over mountains to see a little child.  We can think of the obstacles in their way including the fact that they did not know in which town the Holy Family stayed.  Moreover, great tension existed as they made their journey.  The words of King Herod to the kings were filled with deceit and the intention to kill.  And in the land where Jesus lived, the Israelites were being oppressed by the Romans.  When we look at the facts we might really think that this journey was unwise. 

But the search of the kings was a search for God.  And we also ask the question, “Where is God?  Where is the newborn king of the Jews?”  We will have to find him in our own places of tension where we live much of our lives.  We will have to look for him in places where we argue for fairness and justice, at meetings, during family conflicts and in noisy hospitals.

  It is wise, however, to keep searching and stay on the journey like the wise kings.  They had the eyes of faith.  They were guided by the light of God from a star.  God will give us that light to guide us also even during the difficult parts of the journey.  God will not fail us on the journey of faith.  The light of God gave the wise kings great hope and they fixed their hope entirely on seeing Jesus, the newborn king.  So our journey continues.  We also fix our hope in seeing Jesus at every turn of the journey.  We ask God the Father to lead us by his light to the Son. 

This, however, means that we must leave things behind and pack lightly.  We leave behind our expectations of how our lives will be.  Jesus will reveal himself in ways that we could never imagine.  We will reach our destination.  Someday we will see Jesus in all of his glory in the next world.  We stand before him at this mass grateful for that and ready to offer our gifts to him as he offers himself to us.

Father Tony