HOPE REVEALED –
EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
Far too many Christians get bogged down trying to solve the curiosities of the passage from St. Matthew. They obsess over questions such as “What was the star? Who were the Magi? Were they astronomers, or perhaps princes or kings? How many Magi were there since the Gospel doesn’t really say? How did a star lead the Magi to Bethlehem since stars don’t move?” Unfortunately, these questions deflect us from the reasons Matthew wrote the passage for his readers. During Jesus’ final days among his followers, they were witnesses to events they could not even begin to understand. The story in Matthew is his effort to tell us that the Christians had experienced God. The first followers of Jesus did not have an easy life. They lived in a country that was occupied and governed by a foreign power. Taxation was close to 90%. Order was maintained by force, violence and terrorism. Even worship was controlled by the Roman occupiers. The high priest had to go to the army garrison to ask for his vestments in the morning and had to return them in the evening.
The early Christians had to put into words their experience of God, and Matthew’s story helped them understand who Jesus was. Our world is fraught with troubles too. The Christian faith is being assailed like no time in modern history. Terrorism is the rule in too much of the world. Epidemics scare us. We are cynical about our government. We fear losing our freedom.
Epiphany reminds us to have hope. Epiphany reminds us that God has revealed himself in the person of Christ. Despite all the bad, God is in our world. There are bad people in our world, but counting up the kings, the good outweigh the bad three to one.
Epiphany invites us to enter into the mystery and have hope.
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