Reflection: 6th January 2019

A Reflection for the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord

Mt 2: 1- 12 ( )

The Magi were "overwhelmed with joy" (Mt 2, 10) when they saw that the star they had seen at its rising stopped over the place where the child was.

Matthew's infancy narrative links the birth of Jesus with the prophets of old. In today's first reading, Isaiah exclaims, "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you... Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice". (Is. 60, 2 & 5)

There is something breathtaking about starlight. My father often sang a hymn that begins,
Star of the East, now shining in the azure sky,
Star, brightly shine, as by the prophets long foretold.

One starry night my father took my brother Frank and me to a parish celebration in honour of the Immaculate Conception. I'll never forget our special, solemn walk home with Daddy in the cold, crisp air.

Years later, arriving in Chirilagua, El Salvador, I was amazed to find that in the absence of electricity we could read a book not only by moonlight but by starlight alone!

Matthew goes on to say that the Magi, opening their treasure chests, offered Jesus "gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh" (Mt 2, 11). Have you ever read O. Henry's short story, "The Gift of the Magi" (1905)? A newly-married young couple, Jim and Della, show their love for each other by offering the very best of what they have. It is an unforgettable parable.

May these scattered memories spark in you, too, the joy, hope, love and generosity of this holy season. In his homily of 6th January 2017, Pope Francis says that like the Magi, we have nostalgia, a holy longing for God that keeps hope alive in the believing community as week after week we pray, "Come, Lord Jesus".

Thérèse Osborne - Thérèse is a Lay Spiritan Associate.