Be That Ray of Light

  1. The word ‘epiphany’ is a combination of two Greek words, ‘epi’ (on, upon) and ‘phaneia’ (shine, appear), thus, ‘epiphany’ can be roughly translated as “shine on” or “shine upon” or “appear upon”. From the perspective of liturgy however, ‘epiphany’ means ‘manifestation’ (of Christ to the world). It is traditionally celebrated on January 6th or on the Sunday between January 2nd – 8th. This feast celebrates the manifestation of Jesus to the gentiles by the revelation of his star to the Wise Men from the East, the implication of which is that Jesus did not come to save the Jews only but to save the whole world.
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  1. All the readings of today’s Mass point to the universality of the salvation Jesus won by his death and resurrection. Reading I says “the glory of the Lord is risen upon you… and nations shall walk by your light.” In Reading II, Saint Paul tells us that “Gentiles are fellow heirs…and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus…” and in the gospel text, we read of the star of Jesus that was seen by some wise men in the East.
  2. The bible tells us, as we heard in our gospel story, that the wise men were led to Christ by star light. It is important to point out here that that star appeared only once, and it will never appear or shine again. However, like the wise men, there are many people in our world today who need light in order to find Christ. Many people are groping in the darkness of sin, heading in the direction of doom, and needing a guiding light to see the error of their ways. As Christians, as believers, God expects us to be that ray of light that will save them from the darkness they are enveloped in. Jesus says that we are the light of the world, so we should not be hidden under the bed, but be on a lampstand in order to give out light; he says that our light must shine before men, so that they will see our good works and give the glory to our Father in heaven (cf. Mat 5:14-16). Of what good therefore, is our Christian faith, if it does not light up the darkness in someone’s life? So, God commands us today to “Arise and shine” and “let people also walk by our light” (cf. Isa 60:1, 3).
  3. Dear children of God, we all need to shine the light of Christ to the world. God is calling on us to be that ray of light by which people lost in the darkness of sin can find Christ.
  4. Where there is the darkness of lies, be that ray of light showing the path of honesty
  5. Where there is the darkness of laziness, be that ray of light showing the reward for hard work
  6. Where there is the darkness of envy and jealousy, be that ray of light bringing love and goodwill towards others
  7. Where there is the darkness of sexual immorality, be that ray of light leading people to chastity
  8. Where there is the darkness of strife, be that ray of light showing the path of peace
  9. Where there is the darkness of malice and grudges, be that ray of light reflecting forgiveness
  10. Where there is the darkness of adultery, be that ray of light pointing to marital fidelity
  11. Where there is the darkness of sin, be that ray of light that points to righteousness.
  12. A fundamental question we need to ask ourselves today is: “If people follow in my footsteps, if people copy my lifestyle, will they be led to Christ? Most importantly, we must remind ourselves today that in order to be a ray of light that can light up the way for people on their path to God, we must ourselves have light, since we cannot give what we do not have. This means that we must first do well to live righteously; we must first have a solid relationship with God before we can lead others to him. May the Lord Jesus help us by his grace, to always keep our lamps lit.
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