Homily for Epiphany by Fr. Joe Tedesco 3 January 2021
Isaiah 60:1–6, Ephesians 3:2-3a,5-6, Matthew 2:1–12
Epiphany is the celebration of the Universality of the God’s salvation. And Christ as the true light of the World. Christ is the way forward. Epiphany is the manifestation of this truth.
In a world that has become a global place of tension between religions, races, political philosophies and violent groups, the implication of Epiphany is tremendous for our world.
Jesus is the very center of all of humanity. He is the interconnectedness of every desperate community seeking recognition and freedom to define a way forward. And Jesus is the equalizer that enables everyone to find their rightful place with dignity. He clarifies the goal, He alone portraits the essence of who we are and what life is about: which is “living for God within our human reality,” uncovering our divine essence.
The three Magi represent the world, and acknowledge the truth of Christ for all. The three kings represent all nations, all peoples, all diverse communities, the foreigner, the immigrant, the Muslim, the LGPT community and so on. And, they are the ones who brought to Christ’s birth reflection, celebration and recognition to the new born King of the Jews. They went out of their way to find him and honor him. The Magi’s visit and offering gave us a glimpse of how this Jesus would be in the world – open to all who touch his life and therefore be united to him.
And how he would offer himself for us .
How do we find Jesus and honor Jesus today???? Especially in the remote corners of communities where He can be found in the very people who have been counted out. People of color, women, the disabled and abandoned, the homeless and helpless, those different from us.
The World needs another Epiphany. An encounter with folks of every persuasion to see in their hearts another Christ and do him homage. YES, Epiphany asks us to see the divine in each person, and to show them honor and respect. Each of us needs an Epiphany moment to shape our hearts and have the awareness to perceive the Divine within each person and act from that clarity of understanding. Our community life is this place, we live out right here, in a dynamic way, this very encounter with Christ.
Perhaps then, we can begin to truly and completely be the body of Christ on earth. So, then we can celebrate the divine life we all share, and all that Jesus’ birth proclaimed.
Today, the magi are all those seekers who are searching for the truth. Looking for their sacred center, looking for a vision and purpose in life, those looking to make a difference in the world, to bring humankind to a better place. To help all those in need so everyone can have a chance.
So many are looking for a savior to put it all together with a love and spirit that energizes hearts to make a difference. The reality is that Jesus is that savior. Jesus has shown us the way.
We know Jesus, let us help all those wanting to change the world for the better, to a true human community moving toward the kingdom. A world of love and peace The Christian life lived out is this mirror of the Kingdom.
Let’s not forget that our monastic life, lived faithfully, can be this very catalyst. We can see the gifts of the Magi as gifts for us and our journey to Jesus — gold as wisdom, frankincense as prayer and myrrh as self-denial. Let’s give these gifts to Jesus that transform our hearts and, then, we can transform the world.
The wisdom of the Magi must be ours: to pay attention to our deepest dreams and desires as people of faith, and, therefore, to proclaim Christ, to proclaim love and unity . Reconciliation and peace in the world. Our hidden lives are the proclamation. So, let us live in fidelity to our call.
If we can , we would give the greatest gifts to Christ, a universe that mirrors the very love of God.