Seek earnestly the light of the nations
God reveals himself to the Gentiles who seek him with all their heart. He offers them the opportunity to be “coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.”
The Magi, wise for knowing how to recognize humbly that they do not know everything, inquire about the newborn King. They seek to worship him.
Because they come from the east without knowing exactly where to go, one can imagine the great efforts required of these pilgrims. Not only is the way long, traversing “fields and fountains, moors and mountains”; it is not known either what awaits them in the unfamiliar destiny.
Their efforts are not in vain; the Lord grants them the grace to meet him and pay him homage. Thus does God lift up and fill with good things those who, thirsty and hungry for justice, humbly and sincerely seek him with all their heart.
Those who are his own, in contrast, are sent away empty by the Lord because they react as though they are rich and secure without him, because of their duplicity and indifference. Herod expresses his desire to worship Jesus, yet he really seeks to kill him. Those absorbed in their worship and study seek to know exhaustively of the one to whom the law and the prophets give witness. But they do not do anything to know him.
If so are the rulers, then what about the ruled citizens of the capital? We are told that, with Herod, all Jerusalem is troubled. And there is no mention of anyone of them joining the foreigners. Is it enough for them to have the House of God, which can never be exchanged for just any house?
And is it enough for us worshipers of Jesus to have our sanctuaries? Do we, as intimate disciples of the one who reveals God whom no one has ever seen, know Jesus up close really? Do we not keep looking for true royalty in the palaces of the great ones, and not in the houses of the little ones, denying thus the Epiphany of—to quote St. Vincent de Paul (SV.FR VI:150)— “the Savior of the world as someone reduced to nothing, under the form of a child?”
Do we focus on Jesus during our Eucharistic celebrations so that our hearts burn within us and our eyes get opened to recognize the one who offers himself as our food? Our rituals will remain suspect unless we find palpable the real presence of Jesus, not only in the Eucharistic species, but also in the disfigurement, grossness and earthiness of so many of our ignored brothers and sisters (SV.FR XI:32).
Lord, grant that we gift the poor with what we are and have, so that our gloom become like midday.
January 3, 2016
Epiphany of the Lord (C)
Is 60, 1-6; Eph 3, 2a. 5-6; Mt 2, 1-12