Fr Noel's Homilies

Buzzword - Discovery
Solving a problem always gives satisfaction and can be exhilarating! The "discovery" of Christ by the Magi and its impact on them is the theme of today€™s liturgy.

Isaiah 60: 1-6: Describes in detail the messianic expectation of the Jewish people - the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed One, would bring enlightenment to the people.

Ephesians 3: 2, 3, 5-6: Paul€™s "discovery" experience enabled him to know that God€™s love is to be shared by all, not just the chosen few..

Matthew 2: 1-12: The Magi, the scientists of their time, were seeking an explanation of life, and they found it at Bethlehem. For them, as it had been for Isaiah and, later, for Paul, life in its fullness related to a Supreme Being whose concern for creation led Him to come amongst people to teach and to encourage them in the way of Love.

Point 1: One of the better known stories of "discovery" and its impact on the discoverer is that told of Archimedes, Greek philosopher and mathematician. For some time, he had been seeking the solution to the theory of "displacement€™. The answer came to him as he stepped into his bath; so excited was he that he dashed out into the street calling on all and sundry "Eureko! eureko" - "I have found it! I have found it"- uncaring that he was stark naked!.

Point  2: Unfortunately, Christ still needs to be discovered by many. The Church has traditionally linked three major Feasts to bring home to people the reality of Christ - the Transfiguration; the Epiphany, meaning "manifestation", which we celebrate today. Then, there is the Baptism of the Lord in the river Jordan, to be celebrated next Sunday. These are three strange events in the service of an even stranger one, namely, the presence of the Christ, the Anointed One, known as Emmanuel meaning, God is with us.

All three happenings centre on the €˜appearing€™ or manifestation of God in the person of Christ. Christianity is a religion of truth and enlightenment drawing not only on human experience, but also on revelation. From time to time, God takes away the veil from His nature to enable us to see by €˜faith€™ what we could never grasp by €˜reason€™ alone. So it is through strange and miraculous moments - the Transfiguration, the Epiphany (Star), and the Baptism (Dove), that the true nature of Christ has been known -"My Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him".

Conclusion: Reason and Revelation - the two €˜wings€™ described by Pope John Paul 11 as the foundation of religious commitment. A full €˜discovery€™ experience of God only comes about through divine favour and is recognised as a source of motivation for living, rather than a "Fif" (funny inward feeling) generated by emotion or family tradition. It is a yardstick against which one constantly measures oneself for integrity of thought, word and deed. Then, like the Magi, we are ready to come to offer our gifts and to adore the Lord.

Scriptural reference: The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with His mother Mary, and, falling to their knees, they did Him homage. (Matt. 2: 10)