YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
HOMILY THEME: MANIFESTED TO BE EMULATED
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: ISAIAH 60: 1-6, PS. 72, EPHESIANS 3:2-3a.5-6, MATTHEW 2:1-12
The English word epiphany signifies revelation, manifestation or appearance. Today therefore, we commemorate the manifestation of God among us through Jesus Christ. The visit of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East as captured by Matthew 2:1-12 and how Jesus’ star revealed him to them is central to this celebration. It marked the manifestation of Christ to non-believers as well; indeed it symbolized the revelation of Christ to the world’s ends.
The ends of the earth congregated at Jesus’ cradle. He had conquered the world right from birth. The Magi, sources reveal, were skilled in philosophy, medicine and natural science; some were associated with fortune telling and sorcery. At the birth of the world’s king however, they became men of holiness and spiritual wisdom. They followed the star of Christ faithfully and on meeting him, became changed eternally.As Christians living in a world full of evil and darkness; a world where vice and wrong are gradually becoming norms, we are challenged today in the words of Isaiah 60:1ff, to ‘arise and shine; for our light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon us. We are reminded that in as much as the darkness of sin and evil seemingly covers the earth, God our King will rise upon us and his glory will be seen. We are exhorted to follow in utmost fidelity, the lead of Jesus’ star and trading carefully even as we avoid the distractions of the ‘Herods’ around, we’d meet him who is the light of the world. We are invited to follow the light of the World that John 1:5 says shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. We are indeed reminded today that God is with us and following him in truth and love; and worshiping him like the Wise Men did is quite needful.
Sons and daughters of God, we may do well to approach our king with gifts like the Wise Men did, offering him gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Roman philosopher, Seneca once said ‘in Panthia it was a custom that no one came to the king without gifts. And gold, the king of metals, is the fit gift for a king’. We cannot meet Christ ON EQUAL TERMS; even if we have nothing to offer him, our submission is necessary because he is king over heaven and earth.
This is the surest way towards being friends with him. Frankincense is the gift for a priest. ‘Pontifex’, the Latin word for priest means a bridge-builder; Jesus came as a priest to create a bridge between man and God. We should approach him as such. Myrrh is the gift for one who is to die. It was used to embalm bodies. Christ came to live for men and in the end, die for them; therefore, he offered us both his life and his death.
Gold for king, frankincense for priest, and myrrh for one who is to die; these gifts from the very beginning foretold as it came to be that Jesus was to be the True King, the Perfect High Priest, and lastly, the Supreme Saviour of the world. Being manifested to us as he is today, it is left for us to follow his lead unto eternity.
Dearest friends, Christ was manifested to be emulated, loved, followed, and shown to those who don’t know him. We may do well to continually reflecting and radiating the manifested Christ to our family, friends, colleagues, associates and all. May Jesus be manifested in our lives, families and walks of life amen.
CHRIST WOULD WANT US TO FEED AND EDUCATE SOME POOR FOLK AROUND US.