Homily for January 8

Photo by Gates Dupont

Homily for Epiphany 2017
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily

(Today, our entrance procession weaved it's way up and down
every aisle in the church and as you can see above,
I carried a large star which bobbed up and down 
over worshippers' heads as we sang We Three Kings...)
Star of wonder, star of night;
Star with royal beauty bright;

I wanted all of us to have the opportunity to look up
and find ourselves under the star that guided the magi!

Today they would have used a GPS or the WAYS app
but in their day - they depended on a star for guidance. 

It’s the curious tale in the gospel here
that finds us following mysterious pilgrims
seeking the Christ Child by a star’s light.

There are a few elements of their journey
that might be valuable for us to consider
on our own journeys.

First, in following the star, the magi had to look up
-- up and out of their own experience --
to follow a light beyond their reach, beyond their control,
a light that would lead them to: where-they-did-not-yet-know…

And in following the star,
the magi had to leave behind what they knew best,
they had to leave behind the comforts of home
and set out on a journey beyond the day-to-day familiar…

And in following the star,
the magi had to let go something of their self-determination
and give God a free hand in charting their journey…

The magi are important for us
-- not so much for their finding the Christ Child --
but in their seeking him:
their looking up - beyond themselves;
their willingness to leave some things behind
in favor of finding something more valuable;
and their letting God stake a claim on their hearts’ journey.

Epiphany’s star invites us, as it invited the magi:
to look up and beyond our familiar day-to-day experience,
and to follow a light not of our own invention,
to leave behind things we don’t  really need
to help us find what’s truly valuable for us;
to lighten the load for the journey we’re on;
and to let go some of our own plans
and let God’s guiding hand lead us on our path.

Foolish people will find these suggestions pious and impractical:
wise women and men will find them potent and promising…

For now,
the star of Epiphany has led us to the table of Jesus
and as surely as the magi found the Child in Mary’s arms
so do we find Christ here
in the bread and cup of the Eucharist.

May the supper we share at the altar
nourish us for the journey we’re on
and may Christ, the light of the world,
be the star that guides our hearts and our lives. 

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1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite Sunday for homilies. It was at this Sunday, after hearing the homily, we changed after 30 years to a different parish after I did an ACTS retreat with them and met a vibrant community of caring and faith filled people. It was time to take a different path as the Magi did when they went home.


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