Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
January 7, 2017 Cycle B
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.B.

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In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

Today we are celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord. In Jesusí manifestation to the Magi, we can see the universality of salvation. The light that shone in Bethlehemís sky was destined to reach all the nations, all the peoples of the earth.  In todayís celebration, we remember the journey of the wise men to meet Jesus. They came from the distant East in search of the truth, in order to adore the true God made man. They came from their own wisdom to the contemplation of Wisdom Made flesh.  Their long journey following the star symbolizes the journey toward God that all humanity is called upon to take.  When the star shone brightly in the sky, many people could see it.  However only the Magi saw the star and followed it. 

Why didnít others follow the star? They were distracted by superficial things, including what the poet T. S. Eliot called ďusury, lust and power.Ē They were attached to what belongs to the earth. They were not watching the sky. They were not waiting for anything more than what they could grasp with their hands. They were distracted.

The Magi were watching the sky. They were waiting for a sign from Heaven. They were not satisfied by appearances and the status quo. They were not centered on themselves. They were centered on something greater that was about to happen. They hungered and thirsted for the infinite. They were waiting for the star. They had the curiosity of children and the resolve of adults. They were fully attentive because their hearts were filled with a deep desire.

If we go to the airport to pick up someone we love, we are very attentive. We watch the electronic boards. We check and recheck whether the flight has already landed. We scrutinize peopleís faces, trying to find the face we are seeking. We are not distracted. We are solely focused on identifying the person we are seeking among the crowd. When, at long last, we can finally embrace the person we were waiting for, we are filled with great joy.

The Magi teach us the two fundamental attitudes for understanding the signs by which God calls us: attentiveness and acceptance. They found the star and accepted the invitation to follow it. The wise men responded to Godís call.

We are not lacking in signs from God. What we lack are attentiveness and acceptance, which require prayer and judgment.  We need to have a solid spiritual life based on prayer and sacramental life (Eucharist and confession). However, that is not enough. The Blessed John Paul II said that faith needs to become culture. Faith is a vision of everything and concerns everything: the beloved face, our job and what is going on in the world.

Let us ask the Holy Family for the light that conquers our distractions and allows us to accept and follow the signs that God gives us.  Amen.

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