Saturday, January 5, 2013

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker

For a moment on this day of Epiphany, we focus on the light: "Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you."

Grace and light abound in the scriptures today. How could it not? We celebrate Emmanuel — God with us! We note our blessings and the gift of God that gives and has been given to us. Even the Magi come from the east following the light, the star. Light leads them. Light brings them to the Lord. Light shows them the way both within and without. The gifts they bring to Jesus are themselves gifts of light: gold (for kings), incense (for the gods), myrrh (to preserve the body in death for the great journey home).

Everything about this day reveals the light — except one thing: Herod the Great. Herod the insecure.

Herod lies and manipulates to find out all that he can about this child with the intention to get rid of the problem (the Holy Innocents). Although there is light in abundance, there is also darkness.

"Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you." Yes, Jerusalem is the city of light. Jerusalem, also, will become the city of darkness on that sad and dark, dark Friday. Matthew knows this. Matthew cannot allow us to only see light. Matthew knows that where there is light, darkness will follow. But at the same time, this light springs eternal.

Even in darkness, a new light will come. After all, this is Jesus we are speaking about. Emmanuel — God is with us!

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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