January 04, 2015
Epiphany of the Lord
Gospel Mt 2:1-12
Today’s gospel speaks of two kinds of searchers: The wise men as the “Genuine Searchers” and King Herod as the “Self-centered Searcher.” What kind of searchers are we?
In the gospel, King Herod’s desire to see Jesus was not to know Him, but to kill Jesus – a possible threat to his throne. He wanted no other king but him. Caesar Augustus even quoted, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son. Herod didn’t eat pigs, but he murdered his sons for fear of taking his throne.” Selfishness can be very blinding. It may blind us not to see the real treasure – God Himself.
On the other hand, without any selfish intentions, the wise men just wanted to pay homage to the newly born King. God loves genuine searchers, and so they were gifted with His presence. Those who honestly seek God will never be disappointed. When the wise men finally found Jesus in the manger, they found their real treasure. And when one finds God, all earthly treasure becomes secondary!
A friend of mine went to supermarket for her last minute Christmas shopping. She was so excited to spend Christmas with her family. She even spent all her 13th month pay for the family’s noche buena. She bought a small piece of ham, ingredients for spaghetti, a loaf of bread, and a can of fruit cocktail for salad. But when she arrived home, her father bluntly said, “Pasko na, ito lang ang dala mo?” She was hurt. Tears flowed from her eyes. And she said, “Which one is more important? The gift or the Giver? The wise men knew the answer. Herod did not.
We may not like the father’s insensitivity. But we might fall into the same trap. God is an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) for some of us. Sometimes we measure his love for us to the number of His “answered prayers.” We seek the gift and not God – the giver of gifts. The grace of epiphany escapes us when we failed to recognize that finding Jesus is finding our everything.
Be wise! Follow the trail of the wise men.
Fr. Wilfredo M. Samson, SJ
Assistant to the President for Formation