Epiphany of the Lord (Fr. Simham)
On this feast of Epiphany the wise men or the magi have so much to teach the modern world and us Christians.
First, Wise men in the gospel seek the Messiah, the king. They were from the far-east, may be it has taken two years to travel and it costed lots of money and energy but still they do not hesitate to seek him whom the nature has revealed to them as king and saviour. Modern man is also a seeker. He seeks for knowledge and so the science grows. Along with knowledge Man is also seeking and searching for the things that will give him satisfaction and happiness in life. He is ready to spend time, money and energy for all these things. Even science is used for that search. But he seldom seeks for the thing or the person who is the ultimate source of happiness.
“Seek first the kingdom of God, and all the things will be added unto you.” Seldom people find wisdom in these words of Jesus.
Unfortunately there are so many negative forces in the world calling themselves as wise men of our time that are trying to push God out of their lives and of the lives of others. They want to create world without God, and what they don’t realise is that it is not possible. I pray that the so called wise men of today try to seek God sincerely in their lives like the wise men of the Epiphany.
Secondly, Wise in the gospel worship him. The seeker when he finds what he is seeking and the one who is the source of what he is seeking he does not hesitate to worship him and give time for him. Modern man unfortunately has time for everything except time for God, prayer and worship. Real wise men know what the things that will last are; and they are prepared to spend their time for those things.
Somehow people of our time are so obsessed with ‘secularism’ without ever understanding what ‘secularism’ means. For many, secularism means pushing God out of your life and doing what you like. It is pushing or challenging only one God; that is the God of Christianity. This is false secularism. Real secularism is each one trying to practice his faith without any hindrance or restriction. Pushing God away and trying to fill that emptiness with so many other things is the curse of this day. Let the real wise men and women of our time learn to seek God and give time for the things that last.
Third, wise men in the gospel listen to the voice of the revelation: Heavens proclaim the glory of God and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands” says the psalmist. When we look at the nature around you it has got so much to tell us about God. The beauty, the complexity of nature reveals God and his eternal wisdom behind it. There is so much you can learn about God and only if and only if you have eyes to see around you and seek him sincerely. Wise men in the gospel read the stars and followed it till they found the messiah. When the nature failed to help them they sought the help of scriptures.
But the world today is ready to believe anything except revelation and scriptures. Is it not true some of our children believe Harry potter’s story to be true rather than ‘the genesis account of creation?’ People are willing to obey emulate the pop stars or cricket or football stars rather than the church. Things need to change before it is too late.
Finally, wise men in the gospel were willing to change their way. They were warned in a dream that their way back to their country through Judea is dangerous, and so they need to change their way; they did it. The world is also sensing the danger of aggressive atheism and pseudo-secularism. Because God is pushed out of individual’s life and family and the society at large, families are breaking, society at large is becoming disorientated. Even though the world is getting the warning signals, still it is not willing to change. It is unwilling to listen to the voice of the church which at times acts as the voice of conscience to the world. Instead, it is trying to do away with the church and religion as Herod tried to do away with Jesus.
It has waged a war against the church, taking every opportunity to discredit the church. If the church is silenced, who else will speak for the dignity of life, marriage, peace and love of enemies? Aggressive individualism, irresponsible liberty in not the solution for the world, but a life of responsibility and an individual with conscience is the solution. And it is only Religion that can give solutions to the world. Look at the history, it is religion that held the society and family together.
Let this epiphany is a time when this truth revealed is understood by everyone. Amen.
Fr. Showreelu Simham