HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
HOMILY THEME: THE REVELATION OF THE TRUE LIGHT
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
The light of the Lord shines on us always to lead us to God our Creator and Redeemer! This light is truly stronger than every power of darkness in the diverse tenebrous forms they manifest for “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5). This Light is Jesus Christ! May He continue to shine in the world through us leading everyone to the sacred place of our eternal encounter with God; Amen.
Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, in which we recall that moment in the History of Salvation when God revealed to the world the Saviour by means of the star that led the three magi. The word ‘epiphany’ is from the Greek word ‘epiphaneia’ which means ‘manifestation or revelation.’ In the Feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate the manifestation in Jesus Christ of all the revelations of God, which he had spoken through the prophets. In Jesus Christ, we encounter the Light of God because He is truly “Light from Light.” This Light ignites our faith, illumines our hope and activates the love of God in us. He is “the true Light that enlightens every man and woman” (Jn 1:9). Light rays, when they travel, ordinarily do not exclude anybody or object. So also the Light of God! Hence, the setting of the Epiphany has an important message for us “the gentiles now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body, and that the same promise has been made to them, in Jesus Christ, through the Gospel” (Eph 3:2-3, 5-6). The salvation brought to us by God in Jesus Christ is for all! He is the only Saviour of the world! Humanity can realize itself only in the Light of God, only in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
As Christians, the Light of God illumines our path to help us lead others to God. Hence, we must bear witness to the Light of God. In our time, darkness seems to be growing in its power and potence because we are abandoning the root of our Christian Faith given the great forces and challenges of modernism. The world wants to force us sustain as true some tenebrous inclinations of men and women which clearly are contradictories to the Light. We must note that light and darkness can never cohabitate.
Everything that is not rooted in the faith and illumined by the Light of God is opposed to it. We must also know that light conquers always every machination of darkness as we heard in the Gospel Reading of today (Mt 2:1-12). King Herod wanted to fight and quench the Light, but the Light is always victorious. Whoever wants to fight the Light destroys himself or herself just as Herod did. The instability that manifests itself in our lives, in our families, in the Church, in the society and in the world at large is because of the daily effort, knowingly and unknowingly, willingly and unwillingly, to abandon the Light. On the other hand, when we follow the Light, we encounter Jesus Christ like the magi, we encounter God and we become missionaries of the Light, we become bearers of the Light in the world; the world that is in dire need of the Light of faith in the midst of the confusions that abound in our epoch.
Just like the sun enlightens the moon and the stars and the other luminous heavenly bodies, so also God in Jesus Christ enlightens us as His moons and stars. Without Him and the illumination that radiates from Him we become tenebrous and malicious. Hence, as the star led the three magi to Jesus, so we must lead others to Him. From the radiance of the light of God shining in us, in the words of the Second Reading, “the nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness” (Is 60:1-6). The Feast we celebrate today invites us to ignite the world afresh with the light of God in us; to illumine the dark corners of our societies with the rays from the Light of God shining through us.
May the Light of God continue to illumine the way for us in our journey of faith to our eternal home land; Amen.
Happy Feast of the Epiphany;
Fr Cyril CCE