1.Is 60:1-6
2.Eph 3:2-3,5-6
Matt 2:1-12

                            " Are we the light to others?"

Dear brothers in Christ, today we are celebrating a big feast and our mother church's calendar calls it Epiphany. Formally, this feast was called the feast of the Three Kings whose fixed date is 6 January. Epiphany in Greek means "manifestation." A manifestation of Jesus Christ Himself to all people and manifestation of God to all people through Jesus Christ. This feast is not a holiday of obligation, this is transferred to Sunday so that the people may benefit from this feast and at the same time a continuous reflection on the meaning of Christmas.

In our gospel reading today, God uses a special and unusual rising star which twinkles across the sky, drawing the wise men from the east all the way to Jerusalem. They left their homes and material security behind  and experienced hardships on the road as the star momentarily disappeared. Their only hope is that at the end of this arduous search, they would come upon the real star, the light of the world which is Jesus Christ Himself.

In our part what are the lights that lead us to Christ? the answer is that, the lights that lead us to Christ are our parents/guardians who introduce us to Jesus at an early age. For me, I met and encountered the Trinitarian God through my parents because they taught me on how to make  the sign of the cross. Others have stars like teachers who inspire them by their knowledge of scriptures, their love of the church and their heroic virtues. This shining people bring us towards the King of light, Jesus Himself.

The three magi brought to Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh being the symbols of the material elements of the earth, however, on our part  we don't bring such things to God, rather we bring our hearts, minds, souls and bodies to Him. The gold, frankincense and myrrh were the best material things that wise travelers could bring to the Lord of life. But their effort, their risking of their lives, their willingness to leave security and comfort behind was the gift that proved their true virtue and wisdom.

When being guided by the lights of those around us, we ourselves become lights to others. We give our minds to God when we affirm the value of life, proclaim worth of humanity and distinguish correctly right from wrong. We give our hearts to God when we love with patience, depth and consistency. We give our souls to God when we pray with intensity, act with charity, stand up for justice, rejoice in good times and in bad. We give our bodies to God when we respect the bodies of others, bind up the wounds of hurting, feed the hungry, clothed the naked, give shelter to the homeless and lay down our lives for the sake of others.

Let me end this sharing with the true story that really happened, there was a young man who worked in a leather factory. His fellow workers were not Catholics and when on Friday he brought egg, fish and sandwiches to lunch, they called him a fish-eater and taunted him by displaying their meat sandwiches. Of course, it was all good- natured joking, but there was one man whose bitter remarks were serious. Years later, the leather worker met the old acquaintance leaving a door of a Catholic church and dressed as a catholic Priest. The two recognized each other and begun to talk over old times.

Finally the priest said: " It was your good example that aroused my interest in Catholicism. I thought If a man can take the taunts of a crowd and still remain proud  of his faith, there must be something wonderful about that faith. That led me to inquire about the church. Today, I celebrate my first Mass."

In fact that is the challenge for us all. Epiphany means that we have to manifest Christ to people, to evangelize by our own good examples and live the Christian values even to a hostile environment. 

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Chapisha Maoni