Sunday, January 8, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pasor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “There are people who go clad in tunics and have nothing to do with furs who, nevertheless, are lacking in humility. Surely, humility in furs is better than pride in tunics.” — St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

Epiphany comes from the Greek word epiphaneia (ἐπιφάνεια), which signifies a manifestation or appearance of a god, or of divine intervention or the appearance of kings.

The magi went out to find out about this new god or king and began a difficult journey.

This Gospel manifestation recalls the appearance of Jesus the Christ; it also highlights a comparison between the characters of the magi and Herod.

The magi were pilgrims — seekers. They were searching our a truth they had discovered in the stars. They went on this pilgrimage, and when they entered the home of the Holy Family, found their gift and reward, their souls’ longing.

They offered their gifts quietly, slipped away, went home by a new route, and through it all, discovered a new way within their hearts and souls. These events brought them new life and new understandings.

Herod, on the other hand, was a man of power. Through his power and his armies and his money and his political position, he had established a home (his kingdom) and did everything to protect and preserve it.

He didn't want to share it; he didn't want it usurped. He didn't want to risk losing any of it and, therefore, his only option was to stamp out, eradicate, get rid of, and destroy the child Jesus.

There could be no other king, no other threat to his life.

What a difference between the two: seekers of truth; a liar promising to go and do him homage, but really intending to kill him. Offering gifts of homage and recognition; using any means to protect my kingdom and my wealth and my power.

The Gospel presents a manifestation, and in the light of its truth, reveals the hearts of very different kinds of people: the magi and Herod.

What does the star, the light, reveal to us? Do we discover any new truths about us, about God, about others? Do we bring our gifts, and in the giving, discover that we have been far more gifted?

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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