The Epiphany of the Lord
Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6; Matthew 2:1-12)
Being Beacons of Christ’s Light in a Darkened World
You shall see and be radiant. (Isaiah 60:5)
We’ve all had epiphanies—those times when a sudden insight allows us to grasp something we couldn’t understand before. Well, today’s feast is about the Epiphany: the revelation of Jesus to everyone in darkness. The arrival of the Magi that we read about in today’s Gospel foreshadows how nations from around the world would be drawn to Jesus. It tells us that just as these wise men followed a star and found the King of the Jews, so too will people from all over the world see Jesus’ light shining and be drawn to him.
No doubt the home where the Magi found the Lord was a place of welcome—a mini-fulfillment of the prophet’s words. Try to imagine how Mary and Joseph’s home cast a warm glow on their neighbors, radiating peace and contentment. Surely everyone in their neighborhood respected this family for the way they related to each other and to those around them!
Today’s readings also issue a challenge to us: to make our homes like that place of blessing. Darkness may cover the earth, but we can be beacons of light. Our homes can become places of welcome where the weary, the lonely, and the anxious can feel God’s love and receive his encouragement.
There are countless ways you can meet this challenge. In fact, no two homes will be the same, because no two families are the same. You don’t even have to try to figure out how you’re going to shine the light of Christ. Instead, ask how your family can receive his light. For all who are touched by its warmth will begin reflecting it to everyone around them. So let the light of Christ shine on you today! Ask him for a new epiphany. Ask him to help you “see,” so that you too can become “radiant” (Isaiah 60:5). Then, every act of love, generosity, and hospitality will be filled with divine light!
“Jesus, come into my heart and home. Shine your light through me onto the world, especially those longing for rays of your love.”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- The first reading should fill us with hope as we contemplate that the “light has come” in the coming of Jesus. Through his coming: “the glory of the Lord shines upon you,” “your sons (and daughters) come from afar,” and “you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow” (Isaiah 60:1,4,5). In what ways does your faith in Jesus as “the light of the world” fill you with hope? Share some ways that you can increase your faith in him during 2013.
- The Responsorial Psalm speaks of a king endowed by God to “govern your people with justice,” “rescue the poor when he cries out,” “have pity for the lowly and the poor,” and “the lives of the poor he shall save” (Psalm 72: 2,12,13). In what ways has Jesus fulfilled these words? In 2013, what are some new steps you can take to share in this work of Jesus?
- In the second reading, we hear the wonderful revelation that the Gentiles are now coheirs with the Jewish people in all the promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ. How can we as Christian men be a better witness of Christ’s love to our Jewish brothers and sisters? Why not spend a few minutes now to pray for Jewish people whom you know, and for all the Jewish people, that they may one day come to know Jesus as their Messiah.
- In the Gospel, we are told that when the magi inquired of the whereabouts of the “newborn king of the Jews,” King Herod was “greatly troubled and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2: 2,3). Why do you think King Herod was so troubled by this news? The magi, on the other hand, were overjoyed when they found Jesus, and “did him homage” (2:11). Why do you think the magi’s reaction was so different than Herod’s? What is your reaction when you reflect on these events?
- In the meditation, we hear these words: “Darkness may cover the earth, but we can be beacons of light. Our homes can become places of welcome where the weary, the lonely, and the anxious can feel God’s love and receive his encouragement.” What steps can you take in 2013 to be a beacon of light to others and make your home a place of “welcome where the weary, the lonely, and the anxious can feel God’s love and receive his encouragement”?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord Jesus to fill you and your home with his light so that it may shine on others. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.