Sunday, January 02, 2011

Go and Search Diligently for the Child

January 2, 2011
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord A 2010
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. Isaiah 60:3-5

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:9b-11

The glory of the Lord shines on our piety. Living the presence of the Lord in the temple of our hearts is a light that shines out on our world in the good we do. People are attracted to the light of goodness. There is a peace that fulfills the meaning of Shalom. People feel and know that they are safe in the light of the Lord shining out in goodness. How we make that light our own is what piety does for us. Our practices of piety show in the radiance of what we discover in Christ and assimilate into our spiritual walk that gives light to the path we are following. Our hearts throb and overflow with the riches of God’s love which surrounds us. There is a fullness of God’s love that is seen in the eyes of a good person that looks at life from the depths of God’s love. One can feel sorry for the one doing injustice because it is all too obvious that the loving God that is so much a part of our lives is not known. Our hearts are on fire when the light the magi followed is seen. How could we not travel even a long way for the chance to see the source of that light that takes away all darkness.

We study the Magi to find the meaning of the gifts they brought. Gold reveals the kingship of Christ. We offer to our Lord the best we have. Leftovers are hardly a gift fitting for a king. Our God of Creation deserves the best we can offer. The majesty of creation reveals his greatness. Our world shines forth with the largess of what God offers us in the beauty of his creation. We honor his kingship when we reach out to the needy of our world with what we are able to give of our love which reflects his love to our world. We can never give enough to one who is so much more than just a king. The incense of the Magi is a sign of adoration of his Godhead. The myrrh acknowledges his mortality. At his death costly spices are the sign of how important he is. He gave his life for us. God loved us so much that God was willing to become one of us.

The world and all that is in it responds to the love of Christ. Our actions would never catch up to what Christ has given us. The greatest of the gifts in creation is the gift he gives us of our freedom. We are forever asking ourselves what return we can give for the so great gift of his life. All we truly have to give back to him is our freedom. We are the only part of creation that does not have to be what God intends. God gives us his Son so that we would know how to reach him. The best response to God’s love for us in Christ is to continue his work by using the gifts he gave us to be just like his Son. All the actions of our life that reflect the light of Christ by their closeness to what Christ did in his time give Christ purchase in our world and in our lives. We put on Christ by the love we have for one another. We are Christ for each other in the need we give another to minister. Christ lives on in the good that is done to those who need us as they accept what we do to end their sufferings. We give back to Christ what he has given to us. Love is the action where Christ has his foothold again in our world. Our love shared brings us to Christ. Our lives have to be the gold, the incense and the myrrh of the Magi that we bring to Christ. We are called to be his light to the world in the epiphany we make of our lives.