"Jesus Christ, Light of the World”
(Fr Regie, MSP)
God has fulfilled the promise of salvation longed for by the people. The Holy Scriptures give testimony to this and since the birth of Christ, we hear stories from one generation to the next the salvation received and experience by so many people who believed in him. The story of Jesus has been told again and again. He is truly alive. God is indeed present in our midst. He is Emmanuel. God has appeared in our midst; he has manifested himself before us. This is what the feast of epiphany, what we commonly known as the feast of three kings or the magi or the wise men, means. Jesus Christ shows us the face of God on the earth. The magi shared their story of the baby Jesus, the Messiah known to be born in Bethlehem and this reached far beyond Israel to the different corners of the world.
Why should we never stop telling the story of Jesus? Until such time that we reach our final destiny, we need the light to guide our way. This light will bring us to salvation, not only in the life of eternity but in the here and now. And so, by sharing the stories of our encounter with Jesus Christ, we offer to others the gift that we received. Christ is the light that will help us understand the mystery of life, the meaning and purpose of our existence in this world. This light gives us hope and joy and will keep aflame the love in our hearts, the love that is so generous and willing to sacrifice and suffer for the sake of God and others.
Like the ancient Israel in the first reading (Isaiah 60:1-6), this light will help us see the promise of God’s salvation. The light of God’s glory makes his people radiant that others are attracted to it. In spite of life’s challenges and difficulties, we cling to our hope that God alone can give us because of our faith in him. We allow his light to help us come out of whatever form of darkness we experience in life. Having received the grace, our life becomes a complete offering and thanksgiving to God. Ultimately, we do everything that glorifies God.
The Magi in our Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12) show us a beautiful example of divine worship. “They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” This symbolizes our offering of our whole self and everything we have to God, our prayers, and our sacrifices and sufferings which we offer in union with Jesus’ own Passion, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The Magi teach us also how to proceed on our journey. They do not return the way they came, which could have taken them back to Herod. They have been enlightened when they found Jesus. Now they have the light in their hearts to guide which path they should take, an inner light, a new gift of discernment and wisdom. When we meet Jesus and worship him, we do not have to “return to Herod,” back to the darkness, fear and selfishness of our past. May Jesus Christ enlighten our hearts and minds then that we may become the source of light and so give hope, joy and life to others. May we be God’s manifestations of his love and compassion for others.