Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

SOLEMNITY OF THE LORD'S EPIPHANY: THE SIGHT OF THE STAR FILLED THEM WITH DELIGHT

Mt. 2: 1-12

MANY PEOPLE go to fortune-tellers in order to know how would their future be or see how would their future look like.  By looking at the stars, fortune tellers could foretell future events.  Future events for them may be good or bad, depending on the arrangement of the stars.  Sad to say, many of us Christians believe more on what they say rather than what the Sacred Scripture says.  They put so much faith in fortune-tellers, and they are a kind of surrendering their own fate in them.

In the gospel reading, we find that “his star” lead the wise men to “the infant king of the Jews”.  The wise men in the gospel are associated with interpretation of dreams, Zoroastrianism, astrology and magic.  So, we may ask, what made them decide to go and pay homage to Mary’s child?  They could simply sit down and wonder at the star they saw.  But then again they set on a journey to pay homage to the infant king of the Jews.

As astrologers, the wise men must have observed this star as extraordinary among the celestial bodies.  Perhaps they were struck by its brightness, or size, or its position.  They said to Herod, ‘We saw his star as it rose…’  The wise men believe that the star reveals important information about the child.  The star was already pointing to the one who will shepherd Israel, to a leader, as predicted in the scripture.  That particular star, his star, reveals the true nature of Jesus.  The star that the wise men saw serves God’s purpose and leads them to Jesus.  The power of astral determination is broken.  There is no more prediction of the future.  The star has pointed us to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life.  Our future is in Christ and is Christ.

The wise men set on a journey bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Traditionally these gifts symbolize the kingship, divinity and redemptive suffering of Christ respectively.  The gifts are also considered as an anticipation of Christ’s life.  Christians are also in a journey bringing those gifts that the wise men brought.  It was also a gift to us, a gift from God.  This is to remind us that our journey never ends in Christmas, looking at Jesus who revealed Himself to us as a child.  We continue to walk with Him as a royal people.

The Church is considered by the Second Vatican Council as a pilgrim Church. The Church is on a journey towards the Fatherland, our homeland. Like the wise men, let us continue our journey full of hope in Jesus who saves. As the wise men were directed and guided by a star, let us also be guided by Christ while on a journey. Our journey without Christ could be meaningless, and even impossible. Let us always turn our gaze with the Star who is Jesus, because, as the Way, certainly we will arrive at the home of the Father safely and securely.

                                [Fr GEROME HERNANDEZ MSP
                                     MSP Seminary, Tagaytay City]


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