Epiphany of the Lord
A young woman was sitting in a coffee shop expounding to some of her friends her idea of the perfect mate she was seeking or looking for. “The man I will marry must be a shining light when with friends. He must be musical. Tell jokes. Sing. And stay home at night!” A little old lady at the next table overheard this and spoke up, “Girl, what you just described is my computer.”
Are you seeking or looking for a perfect mate? Well, needless to say that a perfect mate is hard to come by. What is it you are seeking? We are all seeking something.
We celebrate today the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The word epiphany derives from a Greek term that means, “showing forth, manifestation, making public.” Today’s gospel reading begins like this: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”
You know the story well. When the Magi reached Jerusalem, they sought help with their search. Assuming that the newborn king would be born in a palace, that is where they headed for directions. When King Herod heard about their quest he was disturbed. He, in turn, consulted the chief priest and teachers of the law. They pointed the Magi toward Bethlehem. Then Herod adds these chilling words, “Go and search diligently for the child.” “When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”
Of course, the last thing that Herod intended was to worship the child. His motives were far more sinister. But the Magi finally did find the child, and when they found him, they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Their search was over. They had found the newborn king.
Let us return to our opening question: What is it you are seeking? Everybody is seeking or searching for something. That is why Google is one of the most profitable companies in the world. People go to Google every day to search for information about an astounding array of subjects: coolest gadgets, latest news, trending stories, hottest gossips, etc.
Again, everybody is seeking something. What are you seeking? Are you seeking a better life, greater opportunity, brighter tomorrow? Are you seeking a more meaningful, purposeful, and fulfilling life? Are you seeking a more enjoyable, happier, and fuller life? In a deeper sense, maybe we are looking for something that will fill the emptiness in our lives – perhaps, due to boredom, loneliness or restlessness. More often than not we try to fill this emptiness by looking for companionship and partnership, or by trying to achieve, accomplish and succeed more, or by being busy in all sort of activities and projects. We learn – hopefully soon enough – that the things we try “to fill” our lives with would only leave us emptier.
What is it that you are seeking? I want to believe that you came here today genuinely seeking God – seeking Jesus. You realize the dangers in life of seeking anything else. Searching for material wealth and financial security, for political power and greater influence, for public approval and the esteem of others, for social status, prestige and vainglory, for worldly entertainment and pleasures. Our search for these things hinders our search for God.
Every day, especially when we celebrate the Eucharist, the Lord is offering us an opportunity to experience God’s presence, thus, fill the emptiness of our hearts with his grace and love. Let us take this opportunity… Let us respond to the Lord’s invitation.
Let us end with a prayer: Lord Jesus, be with us as we continue our search for the fullness of life, which You promised to each of us in Your birth, life, death, and resurrection. You are the Light in our dark world; You have come to shatter all the darkness, all the doubt, all the confusion we experience. You give us a sense of who we are and what we are called to be. Make us live in joyful hope – believing that there is always more – much more because our God is a God of many surprises. Our faith, our hope, and our love are the gold, frankincense, and myrrh we have to offer You. Amen.