Sunday, January 04, 2009

Epiphany homily

My homily today was as follows (from memory, I did not have written notes):

> What does 'Epiphany' mean? It means manifestation, making-known, moment of understanding--that's how we use the term: to have an "aha" moment where everything comes together.

> Why does the Church have this feast? (Pointing to the creche) Last week you saw the shepherds here; now the kings are here; the Lord was born, and only Mary, Joseph and the shepherds were witnesses. This week, we celebrate the arrival of the Magi--who were not Jewish; this is the feast of the Nations coming to worship.

> This fulfills what we heard about in the Scriptures. The Jewish people had a good thing going: they had a relationship with the one, true God, while the rest of the world worshipped idols of wood and stone. The prophets said, one day all the world would come to know God; as we sang in the psalm: "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you." It was a prophecy, but also a challenge: God's people had a task to share their faith. When the Magi arrived, it was the beginning of what would happen: the nations would come to know Jesus.

> Most of us are not Jewish; we are from "the nations" who were given the Faith. My ancestors were German, running around the Black Forest, worshipping oak trees, until St. Boniface came and brought Christ to them; the same for all of us.

> Today, around the circuit of the earth, the Mass will be celebrated at every hour, in every language and culture; what the psalm said has come true: "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you."

> But still many people do not know the Lord; so the task God's People had from the prophets, is still ours: to share our Faith. In the coming year, this is our task, to share the treasure of our faith with our community. We have a lot to share! We have faith, we have mercy and reconciliation, we have Life in Christ! We have the Eucharist! As we share our Faith, our treasure, with this community where God has planted us, we will see more people come to know the Lord; we will help bring about what the Scripture said: "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you."

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