Homily of the Epiphany of the Lord (6th January)

Living the Example of the Wise Kings

Readings:1st: Is 60:1-6; Ps: 71; 2nd: Eph 3:2-3.5-6; Gos: Mt 2:1-12

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

(https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8452-8392)

Today we celebrate the solemnity of Epiphany. The term Epiphany is of Greek origin, “Epiphaninen.” It is a verb that means “to reveal” or “to manifest.” It celebrates the many ways through which Jesus has revealed himself to us and our world. These include the three events that bring to light his mission and divinity: the visitation of the three kings or Magi (Mt 2, 10-12), the baptism of Jesus (Mk 1, 9-11), and the miracle at Cana (Jn 2, 1-11).

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So today, God reveals himself to us because he is good and loving. The light that shines forth upon us today is the light of life from which we must get our light and reflect it unto others. Today, the Lord Jesus Christ extends and expands the horizon of his love to us by not being selfish. He allows himself to illuminate the darkness of our lives.

The lesson we can learn from this is simple. We must also make our lives better by letting the goodness that flows from us help others. We must let our light shine so that others can see with it as Christ illuminates our way and life this New Year with his light, life, divine presence, and counsel.

The gospel of today from Matthew, as we have seen in the drama presented to us by our youths and children, is about the visitation of the three wise kings. They came to adore and offer gifts to the newborn king, Jesus Christ. This gospel (and drama) is full of many lessons for us to learn. First, the three kings came to offer Christ genuine worship as the King of kings. Therefore, our worship must be sincere and from our hearts like that of the three wise Kings. It must not be like the proposed worship of Herod, which was false.

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Second, we must be ready to offer Jesus something. We must not appear before the Lord empty-handed. So, we must ask ourselves today, what do I offer the Lord for his goodness to me? The only gift we must offer God for his goodness to us is ourselves, the gift of a good life, the gift of love, the gift of obedience, the gift of humility, the gift of peace to our families and world, and the gift of sacrifice for one another. Also, we must learn to be generous to others as the three wise kings did to Jesus.

As you expect gifts from your parents today, children try to be generous to others too, especially towards your parents. Parents, let us also be charitable towards our children today by giving them gifts as the wise kings gave to Jesus.

Third, we must learn from the wise kings that we must continue to follow the star and light that Christ shows us. That is, we must not allow ourselves to be deceived or distracted on our journey by Herod. Trusting that God will not mislead or misguide us, we must continue to look out for his star and light in our lives and along the part of our journey to eternity.

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Any time we are confused or come to the crossroads of life, we must seek and wait until the star of Christ appears to show us the way we must proceed. This is what we may refer to as divine guidance and counsel in our lives. Therefore, we must ask God as the church prays, Father, guide us with your light. Help us to recognize Christ in the Eucharist and welcome him with love, for he is Lord forever and ever. Amen!

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!

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