Monday, January 4, 2010


MATTHEW 2: 1-12


JANUARY 3, 2010

A star is very important in this Epiphany scene. The Magi rely on it. A star has a shelf life of several billion years, more or less. Gases come together and form a fireball. It burns up fuel for billions of years. As it ages, it expands and then blows apart. End of big star. Now this particular star seen by the Magi, had been around for billions of years. God had a plan for it, so long as the star was a star. At a certain point the star was supposed to get very bright and even move, noticeable to the naked eye of someone who was star gazing. The star was part of God's plan. This is an important lesson for us.

Turn to the Magi. As long as they were who God made them to be, with all their gifts and developed talents, they would be part of God's plan to announce the Good News of the Christ to the religious and political leaders of Jerusalem. These three Magi were people who watched the sky closely at night. They were interested in the beyond. They knew how to travel in the desert at night. How could they otherwise follow a star if they traveled by day in the hot desert? They were interested in things spiritual beyond their own cultural ways. They were not Jews and yet they were interested in a Christ King of the Jews and wanted to do him homage. Finally, they needed to have a lifestyle that allowed them to travel away from home for quite a while. These were their gifts and talents. This was in God's plan. Had they not become the people God made them to be, then they would never have been able to fulfill God's plan for an Epiphany.

Now look at ourselves. We are each made with certain gifts and talents. If we discover who God made us to be and develop these gifts, then we will serve God's plan to be a light for others at different points in our life. For instance, I am a priest. It took me a while to figure out that this is how I will be most who God made me to be. As long as I try to be a priest God will use me to be a light. This is the spiritual path, to become who God made me to be. On the other hand, if I become selfish, self-centered, whining, resentful, and fearful, then I won't be much of a priest and won't be a light for anyone. This is sin, to be other than who God made me to be.

Each of us has gifts and talents. God made each of us a unique package. The spiritual path is to discover who we are. Then as we live who we are supposed to be, opportunities will arise wherein we will have a chance to become a light for others. Some won't like our light. Herod did not care much for the light the Magi brought to him in the message of the Christ being born. But then Herod never became who God made him to be. Herod became a frightened, self-centered, power hungry political leader.

The best gift we can give to God is to become our true self, the person God made us to be.

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