All the Earth Must Bow Down Before Him
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany, when Wise Men from the East were led by a star to the new born Christ Child to offer Him homage. They came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They knelt before Him and worshipped Him.
The first people to worship Our Lord after His birth, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds were all Jews. And this was very fitting since the Jews were God’s chosen people. But then immediately after, Our Lord was worshipped by the Magi who were pagan kings and astrologers. Their worship makes the very important point that the Gospel is intended for everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike. The Prophet Isaiah in the First Reading foretells that Jerusalem would become the light for all nations, and in the Second Reading St Paul writes to the Ephesians that salvation is not only for the Jews. Rather it would be through the Jews that redemption would come to the whole of humanity.
JESUS Christ is the true Light of the world (John 8:12) and the light to lighten the Gentiles (Luke 2:32). Without Him, the world is in darkness and there is no other name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). So our most urgent task as Catholics is to bring this truth to those who do not yet know it. It cannot be claimed that all religions are equal or it doesn’t matter which faith you confess. This is ‘indifferentism’ which the Church can never approve of. In the words of Pope St John Paul II, “It is based on incorrect theological perspectives and is characterised by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that “one religion is as good as another” (Redemptoris missio #36). So the missionary activity of the Church remains a necessity today and always. Let us pray on this great Feast that God will use us and our parish to spread the Good News of salvation to all those whom we encounter. Be active in seeking and praying for genuine converts to the Faith. The vast changes we are experiencing in the world and society make this call all the more urgent. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19). Each one of us has a God given mission. Happy New Year and happy evangelising!
Fr Paul Gillham, IC