A well-known story goes of a holy monk, who was once visited by a young man.
The young person asked him, ” I want you to tell me how to find God”
>> The monk was a muscular person.
He told the man, “Do you really want to find God?”
The man said, “Oh Yes, I want to!”
So the monk took the man to the river.
When they reached the place, the monk grabbed the young man by the neck, and held his head down water.
At first the man thought, that this was a special ritual.
But even after a few minutes, the monk did not let go.
The young man began to struggle
>> But the monk would not leave him.
The young man try to fight harder to be released!
> But the monk would not release.
The young man struggled to breathe in some air…
… but the monk kept him in.
Finally, after a long time of struggle, the monk pulled out the young man from the waters and told him:
“When you desire God as much as you longed for the air, then you will have the Epiphany of God!”
The Lord makes Himself known to the one who desires and longs, sincerely, honestly and faithfully!
It is this deep desire and the wonderful manifestation of the Lord that we celebrate today, in the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.
The word “Epiphany”, means…
… appearance or manifestation or showing forth.
It refers to the first appearance of Jesus to the Gentiles.
This Feast of the Epiphany drives home a powerful message…
… and gives pointers to experience true joy and happiness in life.
The Magi teach us some vital clues towards finding the “Joy in Life”…
1. WHAT do we seek?
The Magi from the East had just one purpose in their long journey: to meet the New Born King and pay Him homage and worship. (Mt 2:2)
This single focus and dedication…
… Impelled them to move forward with determination
… Inspired them to overcome all hurdles
… Infused them with a hope that would taken them through their deep desire.
What do we seek in life?
Is it for the Lord and His glory… ?
… Or do we engage ourselves in activities for one’s self glory and pride?
Is the Lord the end and purpose of all our actions… ?
… Or do worldly desires dilute our works and actions?
2. WHERE do we seek?
The purposeful determination of the Magi made them to be focussed on the Star – a sign to lead them to their destination ( Mt 2:2b)
>> As long as they followed the Star, they remained on the right track.
Of course, for a moment, seeing King Herod’s palace, they got a bit deviated as they reasoned out that the New Born King would be born in a palace!
>> But Divine Providence soon brought them back on track.
The star once again led them and they reached the Great King enthroned on the Wooden Throne of the Manger!
>> (pre-figuring the enthronement of the Lord, later, on the Wooden Throne of the Cross!)
Where do I seek the Lord?
>> Do I faithfully follow the Star of inspiration, that the Lord constantly sends…
… Through His Commandments, Teachings of the Church, many people in our life and the situations of life
>> Do I seek His Love in the wonderful sacraments that the Church offers, encounter Him in the poor and the needy and experience His Providence in the situations of our life?
… Or do I get lost, in our search for the Divine, in the pleasures of this world, engage too much only in our works and material engagements or dip ourselves into the murky waters of sinful addictions, sly attachments and silly attractions.
3. WHAT GIFTS do we offer Him?
The Gospel says that the Magi offered Baby Jesus, their choicest gifts – fit and appropriate.. ( Mt 2:11b)
> Gold for Jesus, the King
> Frankincense for Jesus, the Priest
> Myrrh for Jesus, the Prophet.
These gifts would have cost them a fortune…
… They also bore the marks of their sacrifice and pain
>> But they were gifts that were worthy and befitting the King!
What gifts do we offer to the Lord?
In the Holy Mass…
>> Do we really offer Him our pains, struggles, our little sacrifices, our honest longings?
… or, is the Holy Mass become just a customary ritual, without we offering anything to Him and thus failing to derive any joy or consolation for this Precious Sacrament?
In our life…
>> Do we try to make some personal sacrifices…?
>> Take some radical decisions to live worthier Christian life, and be more dedicated to pursue a life of holiness and sanctity…?
The Lord wishes, desires and deserves the best gifts from us.
>> He tells us to, above all, “offer our lives as a living sacrifice” ( Rom sinful, broken, wounded – just as we are…
.. So that He can transform us, and make us a new creation (“Behold I make all things new – Rev 21:5)
The Feast of the Epiphany is a powerful invitation for us to…
… Examine, purify and strengthen…
… the focusses and priorities of our life.
Yes, like the Magi…
>> Let us seek the Lord deeper
>> Let us long for the Lord intensely in the right place
>> Let us desire for the Lord passionately, offering Him the best gifts of our life
May we deeply desire for the Lord, and thus be worthy to enjoy the ecstasy of the Epiphany of God!
Happy Feast of the Epiphany!
God bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – There are many who want me to tell them of secret ways of becoming perfect and I can only tell them that the sole secret is a hearty love of God, and the only way of attaining that love is by loving.
>> You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so you learn to love God and man by loving!”