First Reading: Is 60:1-6
Psalm: Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Second Reading: Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6
Gospel: Mt 2:1-12
Since the new millennium, the world has been described as a “global
village.” Advances in communications and information technology have
truly made the earth a small place. No country can be considered too
remote, no island can be considered too secluded. The physical
barriers imposed by distance have broken down, and we now find
ourselves in a small world indeed. With these new global links come
wealth and knowledge. Billions of dollars in transactions are carried
out every day in the major markets of the world, linked electronically
with one another. Data on almost any topic can be obtained with ease,
with just the click of a computer mouse.
Unfortunately, bridging the information and communications divide has
not readily translated into a more peaceful existence for the world.
Ethnic strife continues to cause wars and civil disturbance in many
countries. Religious intolerance still flourishes, hand in hand with
militant fundamentalism. Racial prejudice still abounds in even more
malevolent forms. It is ironic indeed that at a time when nations and
peoples can communicate as they have never done before, hate and
misunderstanding continues to hold sway in the hear ts and minds of
Amidst these contradictions of the new millennium, perhaps the journey
of the magi can offer a valuable lesson. Sent by Herod to find a child
whom the king wanted ex terminated, these wise men traveled far and
wide. They were sent to fulfill a tyrant’s mission. They arrived at
the manger and were moved to adore the Christ child. They left
Bethlehem transformed by the wonder they had just beheld, and went on
their way emissaries of the goodwill that had changed them.
Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of Christ to the Gentile
peoples, to the whole world. The magi represent us, we who have been
graced enough to be encompassed by God’s loving plan of salvation. In
the arduous journey of the magi, we are invited to see as well the
journey of faith we are called to under take in accepting the gif t of
our faith. In the offerings of the wise men, we are called to see how
we too should give of ourselves in praising Jesus as our Lord and
Savior. And in the new path taken by the magi from Bethlehem, we
should see the directions we are called to change in our lives as we
allow Jesus’ message to vivify us.
And in this journey, there can be no shortcuts. Quite contrary to the
“instant” and “automatic” mindset that the wonders of technology
inculcate in our consciousness, we are called to dedicate the rest of
our lives to appreciating the great gif t of Jesus, the great gif t of
our faith. This entails patience, generosity, tolerance,
understanding, love, and all those values against which the world of
today seems to militate.
But if we are to persevere, the reward is great. It is the great
realization that we are truly “members of the same body and sharers of
the promise through the preaching of the Gospel.” Adoring Christ and
all that he represents, perhaps it is not hoping in vain that we, the
humanity housed in this “global village” of ours can still be truly
one world, one people.
With Jesus, we the people who have been groping in darkness have been
truly given a great light. In this great enterprise, it is Jesus
himself who shall be our beacon and guide, for as the prophet Isaiah
proclaims, “over us appears His glory.” May we be able to manifest
that glory to others, and to the whole world.