A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF EPIPHANY – CYCLE “A” – 1/5/14 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum!
Perhaps some of you saw the story back in November of 5 year-old Miles Scott. You see, Miles has suffered from leukemia for the past four years, and through the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, for one day last November, Miles got to be Bat kid, a sidekick to his favorite hero, Batman. But this time it wasn’t your average Make-A-Wish story, thanks to social media, over seven thousand people in the San Francisco area got involved, helping to make the boy’s dream possible. Volunteers, businesses, the San Francisco Giants, the city’s Mayor and Police Chief all got involved. The entire city came together to make a little boys dream come true. Mile’s mother, Natalie, said that Batman had been a beacon of hope for the little boy. The comic book character was guide for Mile’s fight against cancer.
It’s a great story. There’s a reason why it was in so many newspapers and all over the internet a few weeks ago. Lots of people worked together for that little boy. I suppose in some ways we all have our beacons of hope and our guides to health and happiness. For this little boy, it was a comic book superhero. For others, it’s the Colts, or the Bears, or the Packers. For still others it’s Martha Stewart, or Dr. Phil, or Beyonce. As Twenty-First century human beings we can look a lot of different places for guidance, or direction, or inspiration, or hope. Sometimes we look in fictional, made-up places, that aren’t real. And sometimes we bet on, we trust, we rely on real people or real things, but people or things who really don’t have the power or the authority to be real beacons of hope. And in either case, we put our hope in the wrong place, and we can get seriously misled.
Today, on this Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, we celebrate God’s leading the Three Wise Men to find Jesus in Bethlehem. The star and its light were real. God used them to lead these three kings to exactly where they needed to be, to experience His newborn Son. God’s light shines through the darkness of the Palestinian night two-thousand years, and becomes the beacon to lead these men to God. The three kings follow the light. They didn’t have to. They could have followed or trust many other things or people in their lives. But they follow the star because they believe God is working through it. And in the end, their trust and their Faith pay off. They find the newly incarnate God at the end of their journey.
My brothers and sisters, who or what are we following today in our lives? We can follow many different things. Are we following money? Are we following popularity? Are we following power and authority? There are many things and people today, real and not-so-real, who are giving us bad directions. Many are lost. Many have gone down wrong paths. Many have thought that they would find God, but have only found pain and suffering! What star are we following, as we seek God, and is that “star” leading us closer to God? Or just farther away?
We’ve got to be really, really careful about this in 2014! If our only beacon of hope in this world is our favorite football team or latest winner of American Idol, then we’ve got a problem. Just like the Three Kings, God wants to guide and direct us safely to where we want to be also, namely Heaven. But if we are so busy following other people’s directions or distractions, we’re never going to make it home to God.
We need God’s light. Jesus needs to be our Light while we are in this world. We need to let Him guide and direct our lives and our hearts every single day! We need God’s light inside of us, and we desperately need to be beacons of God’s light for others! This world, our world, can be a very dark and confusing place. It is so easy to get lost! May we always have the Light of Christ to guide us, and direct us on the right path! May each one of us reflect God’s light in our lives, to help those around us to see God’s way in the middle of this passing world! God doesn’t just use stars. Today He uses people just like you and me!
+ May God bless us on this Epiphany, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
+ St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!