The Epiphany of the Lord (Rosalino Reyes Dizon)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

Author: Rosalino Reyes Dizon .

A native of the Philippines, Ross Reyes Dizon lives with his wife, Melody, in Vallejo, California. They are the parents of two grown-up sons, Vincent and Justin, and grandparents of 19-month old Maximilian Frédéric. Ross has been posting Sunday readings reflections to various Vincentian web sites, including this site.

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God is love (1 Jn. 4:8)

In our church the other day, just before the Consecration, a boy of twelve years or so began to scream.  He appeared to be going berserk.  He showed so much strength the father could hardly pin him down on a bench.  Unable to do anything, the mother, like Mary at the foot of the cross, just stood there, next to her son, her eyes streaming with tears.  Three parishioners came to their assistance.  The priest left the altar to offer comforting and reassuring words.  The choir director brought holy water.

This commotion reminded me—in-between the prayers as the Mass went on and the howling and the groaning that the boy continued to make—of the Gerasene demoniac.  But this was a case of some sort of seizure that someone with Down syndrome had.

And as though the disturbance during Mass was not enough, after Mass my wife and I found out, upon greeting a friend with cancer, that the doctors had given up hope on her.  She only has four months to live.

Both the boy and our friend, along with the victims of recent shootings, have left me reflecting on the need we have of the glorious appearance of our Savior.  Helpless, like a mother, in the face of evils that afflict us, we long for the return of the one who went about doing good, driving out evil spirits, curing the sick and preaching the good news about passing over from death to life.  We urgently need the glory of the Lord to shine upon us and dissipate the darkness in our lives.

Admittedly, not everyone believes as we do.   There are not a few who are confirmed in their atheism, agnosticism, cynicism, skepticism or pessimism because of the existence of evil.  But Jesus came also, or precisely, to call them.  And it is our duty to draw to our yearning for Jesus’ coming those who are different from us, the “Gentiles,” let us say.

To fulfill this responsibility, one does not need to engage in a debate.  Better if one, in imitation of the pagan Magi, acknowledges one’s imperfect knowledge and lives with openness to the truth, pursuing it with humility.  One cannot play Herod, then, insensitive to all revelation, and to the signs of the times, for clinging to power at all costs and locking himself up in his interests, vitiating the search for the truth with his selfishness, assembling people “secretly,” which smacks of something sinister.

Better still that we serve as instruments of the manifestation of the Lord through works of justice and love in behalf of the poor who, seen by the light of faith, represent to us, says St. Vincent de Paul, the Son of God [1].  It is through the good Samaritan, through those who “leave God for God”—like the one who went out of the sanctuary and those who forewent their kneeling down in prayer—that the one who hears the cry of the poor is made manifest, not through either the priest or the Levite or those who might have wished that the Mass were not interrupted.

In the Lord’ Supper, the body of Christ is manifestly discerned when those in need are given attention.  This is the Christmas gift that best indicates who Jesus is.

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