OMELIE / Omelie EN

06 gen 2020
06/01/2020 - The Epiphany of the Lord 

06/01/2020 - The Epiphany of the Lord 

Reading 1 IS 60,1-6 * Psalm 71 * Reading 2 EPH 3,2-3.5-6 * Gospel MT 2,1-12


“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”: these are the first words that the priest says at the beginning of the holy Eucharist, words that are accompanied by the sign of the cross. The words are those from the Baptism, they remind of it, they renew it. And the sign of the cross, which everybody traces across their body, reminds of the price that was paid so we could enjoy being included in the love of God, the One and the Triune: this price is Jesus' cross. We are not ashamed of that cross, on the contrary, we are proud to carry it ourselves. This is why we begin with the sign of the cross not only the Mass, but every other activity. At the beginning of the day, of eating, of some work, of a journey, of a prayer, we trace the sign of the holy Cross accompanied by the words of the Baptism. We are showing in this way, both to ourselves and to others, who we are, to whom we belong, which faith is moving us and is supporting us in our commitment to charity.

To show  is the verb that translates the title of today’s feast: “Epiphany”, manifestation. God shows Himself, nay, today God shows His Son to all peoples. At the beginning, today’s feast would include not only the celebration of the recognition of Jesus by the Three Wise Men, but also of the revelation, by the Father, of Him as the Son of God at the river Jordan, and - thirdly – of the one Jesus made of Himself during the wedding in Cana. Nowadays we remember in particular the first: Jesus is recognised and adored by the representatives of the pagan peoples, after having been adored by the poor and the shepherds as representatives of the faithful people of Israel.

Let us take a look only at a few aspects of this mystery. The Pagans, represented by the Three Kings, recognise the time of the Messiah, the King of the Jews: they interprete the appearing of the star as God's gift to men. They can see that star, they let themselves be questioned and they start their journey, with humility. The star does not show them everything, but only part of what it is necessary to know for the encounter. For this reason humbly they will need to depend on others, on the Hebrews. The latter, in fact, know which is the place of birth, a place that has been referred to for centuries in their Scriptures. They know the place where the King promised by God has to be given birth to, but they do not know when; when this is reminded them, they get nervous instead of joyful, they let fear overcome them, the fear that takes men when they think they will lose their privileges, they will have to face change and new things. They are lacking humility: they do not believe in the gift God has given to the Pagans, and they do not accept to believe that their very own expectations might be met by God.

 God reveals the time to the Pagans, to the Jews the place: the former will have to accept the latter's help, even if they are different, because everyone can serve the God of the Universe. His Messiah is sent for everybody. Only the humble meet the Saviour and are reached by His joy. Pagans and Hebrews: we can see how the less important will come first and the first to be there will let themselves to be left behind.

The tale of the gospel is also very rich in hints at our own situation. When someone looks seriously for Jesus, great distress and nervousness take those who reject Him. Jesus, as soon as He was born, was looked for by they who wanted to adore Him and by they who wanted to persecute and eliminate Him.

The Three Kings looking for Jesus find Him in Mary's arms, His Mother: it is not possible to get closer to Him without noticing her! Then, they behave very seriously: they empty their caskets in front of Him. They recognise His royalty, His humanity and His divinity, and therefore in front of Him they reject their wealth, their power, their ambition: gold, frankincense and myrrh are in fact symbols of these things. Whoever gives them up for Jesus, becomes poor, obedient and pure. Poverty and obedience are the sign that He is everything, chastity is the sign not to want to attract other people’s attention and affection on yourself, but rather on Him: He is the only one worth of occupying the man's heart.

God takes care of the Three Kings also in order to protect them from the man's meanness: Herod's bad intentions are unveiled by a dream, and they change road. Who meets Jesus is not the same as before anymore, he does not travel anymore down the paths of human greatness, he becomes humble and looks forward to remaining hidden.

Jesus keeps silent and lets Himself to be loved, not only by His Mother, but by the whole world. Today I would like to accompany those strangers in offering Jesus in Mary's arms the symbols of my love.