The Epiphany of the Lord
           January 8, 2023

                                                                                                       Fr. Josť Maria de Sousa Alvim Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B.
                                                                                                                           Pastor of the Church of St. Peter
                                                                                                                               North St. Paul, Minnesota

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Sunday Reading Meditations

Today we are celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord,  In Jesus' manifestation to the Magi, we can see the universality of salvation.  The light that shone

in Bethlehem's sky was destined to reach all the nations, all the peoples of the earth.

In today's celebration, we remember the journey of the wise men to meet Jesus.  They came from the distant East in search of the truth, in order to

 the true God made man.  They came from their own wisdom to the contemplation of Wisdom made flesh.  Their long journey following the star

symbolizes the journey toward God that all humanity is called upon to take.

When the star shone brightly in the sky, many people could see it.  However only the Magi saw the star and followed it.

Why didn't others follow the star?  They were distracted by superficial things, including what the poet T. S. Eliot called "usury, lust and power."

 they were attracted to what belongs to the earth.  They were not watching the sky.  They were not waiting for anything more than what they could

grasp with their hands.  They were distracted.

The Magi were watching the sky.  They were waiting for a sign from Heaven.  They were not satisfied by appearances and the status quo.  They were

not centered on themselves.  They were centered on something greater that was about to happen.  They hungered and thirsted for the infinite.  They

were waiting for the star.  They had the curiosity of children and the resolve of adults.  They were fully attentive because their hearts were filled with a

deep desire.

If we go to the airport to pick up someone we love, we are very attentive.  We watch the electronic boards.   We check and recheck whether the flight

has already landed.  We scrutinize people's faces, trying to find the face we are seeking.  We are not distracted.  We are solely focused on identifying

the person we are seeking among the crowd.  When, at long last, we can finally embrace the person we were waiting for, we are filled with great joy.

The Magi teach us the two fundamental attitudes for understanding the signs by which God calls us: attentiveness and acceptance.  They found the

star and accepted the invitation to follow it.  The wise men responded to God's call.

We are not lacking in signs from God.  What we lack are attentiveness and acceptance, which require prayer and judgment.

We need to have a solid spiritual life based on prayer and sacramental life (Eucharist and confession).  However, that is not enough.  The Blessed

John Paul II  said that faith needs to become culture. Faith is a vision of everything and concerns everything: the beloved face, our job and what is 

going on in the world.  

Let us ask the Holy Family for the light that conquers our distractions and allows us to accept and follow the signs that God gives us.  Amen.