The Ultimate Joy

January 5, 2020 | N W | Blessings, Christmas, Father Salvador, Humility, Joy, Light, Wisdom

The Epiphany of the Lord
January 5, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Is 60:1-6 / Ps 72 / Eph 3:2-3A, 5-6 / Mt 2:1-12
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

Each of us would like to experience peace and joy in this life. We all have different sources of happiness. One person may get it by traveling, others by dancing or running or simply by eating his/her favorite food. Some may even get it by bungee jumping – something I can’t understand.

Because of our individual differences, something that will give joy to one person could be a source of misery for another. Going to a party, for example: It has been said that telling an introvert to go to a party is like telling a saint to go to hell! So if you have a friend who is an introvert, don’t ask them to go to a party!

There are certain things in life that give joy across the board – grandparents visiting their grandchildren, or grandchildren visiting their grandparents, or taking your children to Disney World, or a lady who has discovered by accident that the love of her life is about to propose. Just the mere expectation of the event will provide happiness.

As we celebrate today the Feast of Epiphany, we listened to St. Matthew’s gospel, where he related to us that the star that the Magi had seen at its rising preceded them until it came and stopped over the place where Jesus was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star. Even before they saw the child, which was the reason they traveled hundreds of miles, they were overjoyed.

Happiness isn’t just at the end of the journey; happiness IS the journey. The Magi were blessed because they found the source of all joy and so are we, because the Jesus who was born in Bethlehem 2019 years ago is the same Jesus who is in our midst, whose Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity we will receive in Holy Communion.

In the parish where I grew up in the Philippines, the priest would each year recite during his Christmas homily a portion of the prose entitled the Divine Romance, which I learned by heart. I am going to recite it here for you:

One night over the white chalked hills in the little town of Bethlehem there went out a cry, a gentle cry.
The earth was not able to hear the cry, because the earth was asleep.
The sea was not able to hear the cry, because the sea was filled with its own voice.
The kings of the earth also did not hear the cry because the kings could not understand how a king could be born in a manger.
The learned men also could not hear the cry because they could not fathom how a baby could be greater than a man.
There were only two groups of people who heard the cry that night – the shepherds and the wise men.
The shepherds are the people who know that they know nothing.
The wise men are the people who know that they don’t know everything.
And the shepherds found their Shepherd and the wise men found their Wisdom.
And that Shepherd and that Wisdom is a baby in the manger.