THEME: WHAT SHALL I RENDER THE LORD?
READINGS: Isaiah 60:1-6/ Eph. 3: 2-3, 5-6/ Matthew 1:1-12
SOLEMN FEAST OF EPIPHANY
Many of us are familiar with the verse from the Psalm 116 which says: ‘What shall I render the Lord for His goodness to me?’ (vr. 12). Certainly aware of the Lord’s gracious gift of a New Year – His gift of life – we have to thank Him. More so we have to thank God for His overwhelming gift of salvation, which humanity began to enjoy with the incarnation and birth of His Son and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Though the magi (wise men) were not Jews, they expressed (by their long journey, homage and gifts) their appreciation of the birth of the child they thought was to become king of only the Jews. More than the wise men, we have been guided, not by the light of a mere physical star, but by the radiant light of supernatural faith to know that Jesus Christ is not just the king of the small nation of the Jews, nor merely king of the whole earth, but He is indeed the King of heaven and the whole universe, King of kings, and the Lord of lords. And understanding that the One through whom everything was created and without whom nothing was created (John. 1:2-3) decided to become a child (creature) so as to save us, our gratitude to God should know no bounds.
As the wise men sought the Lord by their long journey and enquires, so let us show our appreciation to the Lord by seeking Him first throughout this year and beyond. May we never find the journey (walk, ride or drive) to our church (especially on Sundays) too long or boring to make. When the wise men made enquiries from the house of Herod, they got answers from the Scriptures cited by the chief priests and scribes. May the Scriptures we read and hear in the church (house of God, not house of Herod) brighten ever more our light of faith (supernatural star).
Like the wise men who offered their gifts of gold, frank incense and myrrh, so let us offer our precious gifts to the Lord in appreciation of the grace of life and salvation we have received. They offered gold, so let us also offer part of our wealth, talents and precious time to the service of the Lord and his church.
They did not only offer frank incense, they also prostrated before the ‘child’ and did Him homage. So let us today and always offer our prayer and adoration (worthy of Him = worship).
The wise men offered myrrh as well. Myrrh is used as perfume, incense and medicine; and because of its sweet smell it was used for embalming bodies. Finally, then, in appreciation for the Lord’s goodness to us, may we offer Him our sweet smelling life of holiness. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis