Jesus Is The Star That Guides All People

01-08-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today, being the feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate Jesus the incarnate word being revealed to all the nations of the world. The Church calls it, the feast of appearance or manifestation of the Lord. Epiphany comes from the Greek word and means “Manifestation”.

The Church celebrates the light of God’s revelation of His Son as human in Jesus Christ. The story of the magi is the story of the ways in which God reveals Himself to us and even more about the different responses and reaction this revelation receives. The Lord of the universe who reveals the star of Bethlehem to the Gentiles of the East so they could come and worship Jesus, the Prince of Peace and King of Kings gives each one of us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus as Our Lord and Savior.

Jesus constantly reveals Himself to us in different ways and our reactions vary much like the reactions of the people during the time of Jesus. In today’s feast of the Epiphany there are three major reactions to the revelation of Jesus. The first person is Herod and the likes of him. His reaction to the news of the revelation of a king born in Bethlehem was the reaction of hatred and hostility. In the same way, when you hear the word of God or receive His message which probes your conscience or challenges your life, what is your reaction to it? Do you kill that message inside you or do you let it die gradually? Do you welcome it with joy and make an effort to change. What is your reaction?

The other group is the reaction of the Chief priests and scribes during the time of Jesus. They heard also about the birth of the Jesus. Their reaction was that of complete indifference to the news. It did not make any slightest difference to them. They were so engrossed in their temple rituals and their legal discussion. They are more interested in their own affairs that Jesus’ birth meant nothing to them. We too can be indifferent to the gospel message. We may be so concerned with our personal affairs that we don’t have time for God. This is the time to make a good examination of the time we give God.

Then we come to the last group, the reaction of the wise men from the East. Their reaction of adoring worship, the desire to leave everything and seek Him out where He is and worship Him. The desire to lie at the feet of Jesus with the noblest gifts which they could bring. These wise men are those who read the signs and stars in nature and according to their astonishingly accurate knowledge, something great has occurred in the Jewish nation, the birth of a very special king. Today’s feast teaches us that God speaks to us humans not only through the scriptures, He speaks also through the book of nature. However, the wise men from the East did not worship the stars they worshipped the one to whom the star pointed them to. The events of nature most often point us toward the magnificent nature of God, and it is this God we should worship and not the nature that reveals the mighty deeds of God.

Finally, the Eucharistic Jesus present in the tabernacle is the same Jesus the wise men found in Mary’s arms. Let us be blessed as we worship Jesus in our Church.

Father Tony Okolo C.S.Sp., V.F.