See the Star?

Posted on January 2, 2024 by Published by

My brothers and sisters, in today’s Gospel we encounter three reactions to the coming of Christ. The three magi from the East did not hear of the coming of the Messiah through the appearance of an angel. Rather, they connected the signs around them, and decided to follow the star to find the king. So, they left everything, and they embarked on the difficult journey to Bethlehem in order to find the Lord. They were open to Christ and willing to persistently search for the hidden God for as long as it took to find Him.

The other group of people that we encounter in today’s Gospel are the priests and scribes. Like the three magi from the East, the priest and scribes were aware of the signs. They were aware of Scripture in which the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah. They knew that the King would come from Bethlehem. Yet, my brothers and sisters, they did not believe that the prophecy was being fulfilled in their time. They knew, and yet they did not go to the stable to meet the Baby Jesus because they felt that they did not need Him. The priests and scribes did not believe that the Scripture was being fulfilled in their time, because they did not have the light of the new star of faith, which leads not only to God, but also inclines a person to seek and find God.

Finally, the last example we see in today’s Gospel is that of Herod. When he learned about the newborn King in Bethlehem, Herod was filled with terror. He was so frightened that he would lose his power and his control of the people, that he commanded the murder of all of the baby boys in Bethlehem, hoping that Jesus would be among them.

Therefore, we see three different responses to Jesus’ coming. The magi from the east were open to God, and they persistently sought the child Jesus so that might adore and worship Him. Although they knew through the prophecies that the newborn King would come to Bethlehem and would be born of a virgin, the priests and scribes were indifferent. They did not feel they needed Jesus, and they did not possess the true faith that leads to the Christ Child. Responding in the opposite way as the three magi, Herod was terrified upon hearing about the birth of the new King. Herod was so terrified that he commanded that Jesus be killed, so that there be no threat to his power and rule.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, the Manifestation and Revelation of God among us. Christ the Lord and Ruler has come. He comes through sacramental signs such as this very Eucharist. We also encounter Him through others who love us and who await our loving response. We here are all Catholics. The majority of us all possess a faith that has been handed down through the generations. Therefore, I would like to ask each of you: What is your attitude before God, before the Newborn King? In what ways do you, and don’t you, accept Jesus into your life?

Yours in Christ,
Father Arthur

Readings for The Epiphany of the Lord: Lectionary 20

I am delighted to welcome Patrick Fitzgerald as our new Operations Director here at Our Lady of the Wayside. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role, and I look forward to the benefits he will share with our parish.

I also wish to thank Danielle Pitzer for her several years of service as our Director of Religious Education. She has been a great resource to our families and the parish. As she takes a step back to spend some much-needed time with her family, we offer her our prayers and support.

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