Fr Thomas’ Message for Epiphany of the Lord

Have You Met God?

What a year it was in 2020! In this New Year we wish and pray that 2021 will be better than the one that is past. COVID 19 continues to challenge humanity in all aspects of life. Our proudly established medical systems are failing to ensure health and well-being. The rising graph of economy, we all dream of, seems to remain as a dream. When we thought we have arrived at a ‘global village’ with no one in any part of the world too far to meet in person, borders are closed and we have become aliens to each other. Churches, the houses of God, have become out of reach for the faithful to visit as they wished. Any plan to travel to any pilgrim centres in search of God experience is also hindered by the pandemic. So is God still with us?

The season of Christmas is continuing for us. Today we are celebrating another Christmas in the Feast of Epiphany. The term ‘epiphany’ means manifestation of God. Matthew (2:1-12) narrates how God manifested himself as a child Jesus at Bethlehem. The search for God incarnate by the magi in Jerusalem and in the palace of King Herod were futile. They had to reach the poor manger in Bethlehem to meet baby Jesus, God incarnate. God the creator decided to be part of human story in a humble manger
surrounded by not the elite but the shepherds. It was the star, the symbol of God’s fidelity to his people through King David, that led the magi to their God experience. The magi from the East represent the gentile world who were not part of the first chosen people of God.

The imagery Matthew paints of God’s revelation in child Jesus helps us to reflect on how and where we find God in the uncertainties of this COVID stricken world. This virus has made humanity to look for the divine revelation of hope, joy, and peace not in the rich, the powerful, and the learned. We are challenged to be humble to find our God manifesting himself through compassion, generosity, and trust. Disillusioned by the agents of the world, you now follow the divine star of hope to where God is. The star could be in the form of a person or an experience in your life. Who or what is that star that is guiding you to meet God? Like the group of magi who travelled together, you too need companions in this world humbled by COVID, as you search for God born into humanity. Who are the people travelling with you in your journey?

The magi came to Bethlehem bearing gifts. What are the precious gifts you are bearing to God? Selfishly keeping the God given talents to yourselves is not the way to pay homage to God’s manifestation.

The magi, after paying homage to child Jesus, went home another way, distancing themselves from the evil king Herod. Your God experience also will make you leave the ungodly ways of the past and follow a new way of life from now on. Having met Jesus in the fragility of the world today, have you commenced a new way in this New Year?