Sunday, January 5, 2014

Epiphany (A) - Being Divine

Mt. 2:1-12
January 5, 2014

GOSPEL READING: The Epiphany of the Lord
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, 
for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel." Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 
"Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word,  that I too may go and do him homage." After their audience with the king they set out. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

REFLECTION: Being Divine

The appearance of Jesus as God makes us realize that Divinity is deeply connected with humility, service, and empowerment.

Unlike the gods of the Greeks who are often portrayed as arrogant, Jesus is the God who humbles Himself in becoming man. It is worth noting that when he submits to the baptism of John, he patiently comes only after all the people have been baptized (Luke 3:21). Indeed Jesus Himself says that whoever humbles himself will be exulted. That is why, after being baptized by John, He is praised by the Father saying: “This is my Son the Beloved, my favour rests on Him (Matthew 3:17).” Hence, there is no reason for us to be proud. After all, we cannot boast of being better than another as regards the important things in life. We learn this from St. Paul who tells us in the 2nd reading the mystery of the Incarnation that has only been known by the prophets and apostles are now known by the pagans; thereby, sharing in the divine inheritance (Ephesians 3:5-6).
Jesus also shows us that service is an aspect of divinity. In the Wedding at Cana, Jesus serves the couple and their visitors by turning water into excellent wine. Today’s psalmist says that our Lord is a servant that “frees the poor man who calls to Him, and those who need help ... and saves those in need (Psalm 72:12-13).” Right from the start, God has served us by His act of creation. No wonder, Jesus tells us that the greatest among us should be a person who serves (Matthew 23:11).

But God’s service is not meant to make us lazy. On the contrary, His service tends toward empowering us. He gives us wisdom so that we may understand things and endows us with gifts to glorify Him. This is demonstrated in today’s gospel. The wise men are empowered by God to understand the meaning of the star in the east (Matthew 2:2). He also blesses them with wealth and perfume so that they can return these back to God in gratitude. Isaiah in the 1st reading has foreseen this event and sees that our riches are meant to glorify God (Isaiah 60:6).

The Epiphany of Jesus is an invitation to us all to become happy by imitating Him. So let us become divine through humility, service, empowerment of others

FR. RUDOLF STEVEN SEÑO, OP is a Dominican Priest assigned in the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas.


Solemnity, Cycle A, OP Friars, Epiphany, Humility, Service, Empowerment, Divine

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