Homily – Fr. Michael Casagram – Epiphany 2021

+YOUR  LIGHT HAS COME                                       Epiphany 2021

“Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.” For me these words are loaded as they address us today. To rise up in splendor is an invitation to own our dignity as children of God. We are to be a holy city, a place where God dwells and in fact, this is what this Solemnity reveals as it calls us to see the work of grace taking place in our lives. Our Light has come, Jesus is in our midst, the glory of the Lord shines upon us.

We may not feel this but Jesus is within our hearts and leading us all day long to live the lives given us. We fall and fail but we are constantly getting up again and letting Him shine in and through us for the good of others.

Darkness covers the whole earth! Perhaps more than ever we are aware of what’s happening as the pandemic continues to spread, as new strains that are even more contagious are taking their toll. We live in a world where climate change is giving rise to worse storms, hurricanes, flooding and fires than we have known in the past. And yet we are told: “nations shall walk by your light and kings by your shining radiance. Christ is ever the Light of the world however flawed and subject to destructive forces, offering a way through and beyond all that is harmful.

Where do we see God being manifested in our world of today? This is a challenging question that has stayed with me as I prepared these few reflections. I’m sure the answer to this question is different for each one of us and it would be fascinating to hear how each of you would respond.

What our Scripture readings bring home is that God taking on our human flesh and then visited by the Magi is to show that he is not only the Savior of a chosen people but of every Nation. The Incarnation is the manifestation of God’s love and care for every human being. As often as we in turn show the same love for each of our brothers and sisters, we bring to fulfillment the divine plan.

No matter where we are, what we may be asked to do, we have the opportunity of being living signs of that Light that has come to transform the human family into a wonderfully gifted entity. We are one with the Gentiles spoke of in the letter to the Ephesians we just heard who “are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”

The star that guides us as it guided the Magi is the light of faith so let us become overjoyed as they were at seeing its light. It will guide us as it guided them to enter into our own life’s setting and there to find the Child with Mary his Mother. Each of us gathered here is ever entering into the simplicity or complexity of our own lives so as to see where we find God become flesh, find God sharing in all that is a part of our own human lives.

Might this be one of rich stores of meaning we find in the Eucharist each day when the very simple elements of bread and wine are changed into Christ’s own Body and Blood. As we let the Light of faith shine through our lives, we become one with him in his glory. Then it is that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us, He who is the Light of the world.