Sermon Thoughts – Epiphany – Year A

How the Magi come to the manger?.
If you remember the Gospel:
we see only a king in mentioned there, and it is Herod.
But he did not go to worship Jesus.

Moreover, we call them “kings” but Gospel says, “Magi”, probably meant to wise men, come from distant lands.
They do not belong to the chosen people of Israel.
Obviously, they understood it,
to interpret the signs of the times.

How many were there, is also not mentioned.
Whether it was three or more?
And that they came to Bethlehem can be not that correct at all, then they needed a long time for their journey. The star stood not above the stable, but on a house says Gospel.
So the wise men could have visited, Mary and Joseph in Nazareth and not in Bethlehem.
Then, how come our three wise men to the manger? Something seems wrong.

Well, I don’t want you get confused? And the details are not the issue at all.. For the intention of Evangelist Matthew, the only one who tells this story,
was not to tell an historical event. Matthew is a theologian.
He tells something important for the faith, namely this:
The Messiah was indeed expected from the chosen people of Israel, but when he was there, he was rejected by his own people.
In nutshell: wisdom and power of this world should give priority to God.

Did God come at an “inconvenient” time? It seems so: his presence disturbed Herod and brought him anxiety. Also for the chief priests and scribes, he remained a troublesome rebel.

God is stranger to many people; he is not welcome in our highly technologically advanced time. Many people of our age cannot tolerate His morals and teachings, because they can be an obstacle in their “business”.

God becomes man, that’s Christmas.
Now he “appears” to the people. He is visible.
The world recognizes in Jesus the Son of God.

In the Old Testament, it would be equal to death as no one was meant to look at God.
Now everything is different.
God shows himself and that as a child.
Even then people continue to “live”.
They are not dead..
No, he came to give life…in its fullness…in his fullness.
And with his coming, some learned to live cheerful and lively than before.
Epiphany of the Lord invites us all to the divine life.

Epiphany is not just a celebration in Christmastime.
It should prompt us to ask ourselves every day whether we recognize our God in the people, in their needs, in our prayers, in our churches, in our families …
where ever we are…

And this knowledge should move us to Him. As the magi did.
On that way we can meet him, adore him…
And forget not;
“Herod, the forces against God”, is still waiting for us …
But they must not stop us! Let us pray for that grace! Amen.

Fr Thomas Kalathil

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