Authentic Face of God and Religion
Jesus reveals the invisible God. Jesus’ true brothers and sisters, then, cannot but reveal the authentic face of God and religion.
The Only-Begotten Son is the exact image of the invisible God who dwells in unapproachable light. He lives eternally and intimately with him. But since he became flesh, he dwells among us. Through him, then, we have access in one Spirit to the Father. And he is the Messiah who tells us everything and gives us the Spirit of truth. So, through Jesus, too, we can worship the Father in an authentic way, in Spirit and truth.
Those the Spirit guides to all truth reveal God’s authentic face.
God, by his grace, predestines us to be the image of his Son. He offers us this destiny, so that Jesus may be the Firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
To be Jesus’ brothers and sisters, then, to be Christians, means to be his image. And since he reveals God’s authentic face, true Christians do the same. This implies that they have found Jesus and know him intimately.
That is because, ultimately, only those who know Jesus have the urge to proclaim him. Andrew and Philip prove this (Jn 1, 41. 45). So, too, do Peter and John (Acts 4, 20).
Do we, like these ones who know Jesus, give authentic witness?
Do we so wonder at what we hear about Jesus that we speak about him to others? Do we keep “all these things,” pondering them in our hearts? That is, do we keep them, so that their power may make our lives more human?
And God hides “these things” from the learned. They know the Messiah’s birthplace. But they do not look for him; it is enough for them to know.
God hides “these things” from Herod also. Like some leaders today, Herod looks out only for himself and his interests. He keeps saying, “I and no one else.” Duplicity, lies and arrogance are part of his make-up. And his aggression toward every rival, authentic or not knows no bounds.
But God reveals to the Magi what he hides from the proud and the learned. That is because the Magi seek perseveringly. They humbly admit their lack of knowledge. And because God reveals them “these things,” they surely are among the childlike.
They see the child, then, the King, of whom they are coheirs. Not in the royal palace, with the nobles. Nor in the temple, with the high priests. They see him in a house, with his mother. They worship the Poor Little Thing, and they offer him gifts. Theirs is “the true religion” (SV.EN XI:190).
Lord Jesus, grant that we may see and worship you in an authentic way in the poor. Teach us to give you and them gifts. Open our eyes at the Breaking of the Bread, so that we may discern your Body in the needy.
7 January 2018
Epiphany of the Lord (B)
Is 60, 1-6; Ephes 3, 2-3a. 5-6; Mt 2, 1-12