Take your pick

by | Dec 30, 2014 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistEpiphany of the Lord (B), January 4, 2015 – Is 60, 1-6; Eph 3, 2-3a. 5-6; Mt 2, 1-12

The Gentiles are coheirs (Eph 3, 6)

Those who, like St. Elizabeth Seton, are open to others’ interests are guided to the light, while those who lock themselves up in their own interests remain in the dark.

The Magi from the East leave their comfort zone and venture into the unknown to look for the newborn King of the Jews. They have known of him through what is created (cf. Rom 1, 20). And because they sincerely seek him, he lets himself be found (Dt 4, 29; Jer 29, 13). The instructive Spirit only flees deceit (Wis 1, 5).

The foreigners’ sincerity, evident in their act of homage and in their gifts, contrasts with Herod’s pretense. The king wants to get rid of every rival. And in order to protect his own interests, what atrocious works of darkness would this notorious despot, feeling threatened, not be capable of? No wonder all Jerusalem is greatly troubled too.

The chief priests and the scribes do not show genuine interest either. They know the Scriptures, but for what, if they are not impelled to go and verify? Perhaps they have more important concerns: their presiding at worship, their management of the grains from tithes and first-fruits stored in the temple and of the offerings in the treasury; their supervision of the money-changers and vendors of animals.

Both those who are consumed with not so disinterested zeal for the temple and the one who boasts of his greatness and his grandiose building projects—among them, the expansion of the temple—should remember that the Lord approves the lowly who tremble at his words (Is 66, 1-2). May they be aware too of the Lord’s complaint against godless prophets and priests whose wickedness is found even in the temple, on account of which they shall fall headlong into the darkness (Jer 23, 11-12).

With the remembrance of the Lord’s manifestation to the Gentiles, set before us once again for our choice are light and darkness. To choose as the not yet converted Vincent de Paul: he lamentably gets nowhere, though desperately searching for an “honest retirement.”  Or to choose as St. Vincent: concerned about the poor (marginalized like gentiles but representing the Son of God), he is led by Providence to ever greater achievements.

Vincent the saint, of course, is the image of the one who, loving us to the end, offers his body and blood, to enter into his glory.

Lord Jesus, grant that we may also do what you have done, and so be led into your glory.

Ross Reyes Dizon



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