Theme: SEARCHING FOR YOUR STAR!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Sunday January 2 2022
*Is 60:1-6, Eph 3:2-6, Matt 2 :1-2.
Epiphany is the climax of the Christmas celebration – when the Lord’s coming must be revealed to the nations, the powers that be, the kingdoms of this world, our different families and to all individuals in order to affect our destiny. The end point of the gospel is empowerment (spiritual, economic and intellectual) and dominion (in form of prosperity – spiritual and/or material).
*Gen 1:28 says ‘Let them be masters of the Seas…Be fruitful, multiply… sudue’.
*Isaiah continues ‘Everyone in Sheba will come bringing gold (wealth) and incense (worship) and singing the praise of the Lord… Your heart shall trill and rejoice since the riches of the sea will flow to you ; wealth of the nations will flow to you’, Is 60:1-6. But we must have the true version of this prosperity; We can have a mundane prosperity (characterized by sin/ cultism) or a divine prosperity ( characterized by gratitude, offering and praise worship)
*Praise Worship is the end point of prosperity for children of God whether on earth or in heaven .
B. SEARCHING FOR OUR DESTINY
There are about 6 important characters in today’s gospel story whose case study will help us so much in deciphering God’s interventions in our own search for our destiny :
1. The Child Jesus; The Messiah has come and world history and destiny have been affected by this singular event. Every other religious groups and cultures must with time encounter their own experience of Epiphany in relation to the truth of Christianity.
2. The Wisemen; Who are the wise men today? Not necessarily the learned /educated; the professors, priests, doctors, lawyers, politicians or rich men…but those who still follow their star (natural and supernatural guide) to Bethlehem.
To the Jews (and Christians), God spoke through the prophets and the scriptures but to some others (the Gentiles) He spoke through nature (stars, for example, look at scientific developments in China inspite of their predominant religion – Hinduism).
*There is a need for co-operation between European and alternative medicine, for example.
*The imperfect (natural revelation) needed to be completed by the perfect (supernatural revelation through the scriptures). That was why the star led the wise men to Jerusalem and they had to consult the Hebrew scriptures in order to know the exact place for the birth of the Messiah.
*Some ‘wise men’ worshiped things of nature like the stars, trees, rivers, etc before the coming of Christ. But now we can have perfect knowledge without the scriptures.
*It is a modern day absurdity to still see a number of our Professors and elites (in areas like Nsukka) who still patronize the occult dibias, champion the worship of fetish idols and support the perpetration of violent masquerades.
3. The star; Your star is the natural and supernatural forces that God uses to show you your destiny. Following your star is very necessary for success. It requires a lot of intuitive insight and docility of mind and heart.
4. The Herods; The ‘Herods’ are your destiny killers. They could be your friends, relations or some authorities placed over you who feel threatened by your talents and would want to stop your progress at all cost.
5. Mother Mary; She is always there around her Son Jesus. She was the one who received the gifts from the wisemen and their homage on behalf of her Son. Even now, she never deflects the homage mearnt for her Son Jesus but chanells them all to the throne of grace.
6. The gifts; They did him homage in the company of his mother through Adoration and Offering of gifts; gold (wealth), frankincense (priestly worship) and myrrh (preparation for his death and immortality). All these gifts were received through his mother, Mary. Jesus can still be worshipped today in the company of his mother.
C. TRUE HOMAGE
1. True homage; The wise men said: ‘We saw his star and have come to do him homage’. Just as simple as that! True adoration is not about our problems but about God’s glory being primarily estowed because we believe He is bigger than our problems. ‘His power working in us can enable us do infinitely more than we can ever ask or imagine’, Eph 3 :20.
2. False worship; When King Herod (symbol of evil men) heard this, he was disturbed and said: ‘When you have found him, let me know so that I too may go and do him homage’.
*That is false worship for you. The greatest of wickedness today are often concealed in the form of piety. Many occult men and women now go to Church and some disguise as ministers and prayer warriors, using the Bible and Holy Communion to cover themselves.
Epiphany is the celebration of the gift of Christ’s salvation and prosperity to the Gentile world. Let his star guide you this new year onto salvation and prosperity (academic, financial, spiritual and socio-political break throughs).
As we praise the wise men today for their search for Christ, the King of wisdom and the key holder of prosperity, we encourage Christian Youths towards meaningful entrepreneurship and research.
The Church should do more towards enhancing wealth creation and alleviation of poverty through the mission schools and hospitals and not worsen the situation by increasing the school fees /hospital bills only to under pay their employees.
We are so much entangled in a consumerist society (full of executive stealing , harlotry, drug addiction, etc) that we have no time again to look up and search for the star leading to our destiny. And when some want to search for their destinies, they go to occult ‘dibias’ who are 10 times poorer than they are. Some go to ‘Christian seers’ who prophesy for them and end up confusing them.
*I have a pathetic story of a young lady who consulted 5 different ‘Christian seers’ who pinpointed her future husband amidst other better suitors. She married him and finally landed herself into a sea of confusions.
We need to be more prayerful this new year in order to be able to resist the ‘Herods’ working against our national and individual destiny. We need to be closer to our Blessed mother Mary and our guardian angels so that we would be able to follow our own star to the full realization of our destinies. Happy Sunday dear friends!