The Epiphany of the Lord
January 3, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Is 60:1-6 / Ps 72 / Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6 / Mt 2:1-12
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Today as we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, God’s words from the Prophet Isaiah, which we heard in today’s first reading, tell us, “Rise up. Your light has come. Darkness has covered the earth, clouds covered the people. But upon you the Lord shines.”
Figuratively speaking, our world has been in darkness for almost a year now. For many people, the light seems to be hidden, and as a result they wallow in their sorrows. Our presence here inside the church of Holy Name of Mary is a manifestation of the fact that we can somehow see the Lord’s light with the eyes of our faith.
As God’s children, we are busy lighting our candles instead of wasting our time cursing the darkness. We know that the Lord needs us, and we believe and know the Lord Jesus as our Savior and our God, because sometime in the past, someone served as our guide to lead us to Him, just as the Magi found the baby in Bethlehem by the guidance of a star.
In a few days, we will be celebrating the culmination of the bicentennial of our diocese. For a year now, we have been reflecting on the bicentennial theme, Shine Like Stars, which is based on the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians. On behalf of the Richmond Diocese, I would like to thank you for shining like stars by your good works. And may the Lord continue to strengthen you, as go on with your life’s mission.
I have seen member of our Christian family taking good care of their elderly and sick parents, siblings, relatives, and even neighbors during these difficult times. And some have spent their time helping charitable institutions.
The science of astronomy tells us that no two stars are exactly the same. Each star is unique, just as each of us is uniquely different from each other. We have different talents, abilities, and personalities. And so we shine like stars differently.
I had the privilege to baptize a family’s five children, and they are all different from one another. I baptized another family’s twins, and although they look so much alike that I cannot tell them apart, they are different from each other. One twin loves flowers, but the other one is not so interested in flowers. They are twins and have the same genes, but they are different. That is why we do not compare one another. Each of us is uniquely different.
There will be only one you, and there will be only one you from the beginning of time until the end of the world. And there is only one me. The Lord God is asking you to shine and to be the best of whoever you are. But in general, it will make life easier for those around us by our unconditional love and care. If we share the Good News of our Lord Jesus in whatever little way we can, then just as the Apostle Paul puts it, we can indeed shine like stars in the little world we live in.