January 8, 2023
The Magi were sensitive to signs of God that others missed. By becoming attentive to those signs, we can discover the Holy Spirit’s mysterious action.
- God has designs of Mercy for our world today.
- He is active, leading Creation to His goal.
- But this action is often hidden, unnoticed by the world.
- He gives signs of His action.
- The Holy Spirit illuminates these signs for us, if we are humbly attentive to Him.
This is a computer-generated transcription that has been included to make the homily searchable. It has not been verified by the author.
You see suddenly a very unusual sign. And nobody else seems to notice it or pay attention to it. But you sense that it’s important. And that you should ponder it. Wondering what does it mean? And you begin to realize that it seems like it is a sign from the Most High that something mysterious is happening right now. Something almost unbelievable, that has never happened before. Is it really true? In our world of darkness, and tragedy, and treachery is a sign of something light, a sign of purity, of power and of peace. That God has come down, to visit His people, to live among them, to give them His light, to show them His love, to free them. And yet, almost nobody else knows about this. In fact, it seems to you that nobody else knows about this. And so you wonder, are you just imagining this? Are you just deluded? This was the situation of the Magi. Each one of them had to begin alone, all alone, the only one who realized and noticed the sign. And so, what is the message for us today? As we begin this year, 2023 Isaiah’s words seem very much to express our situation today when he says, “darkness covers the earth. And thick clouds cover the peoples.” Thick clouds. So, there’s so much lies and distractions or confusion, that hardly anything is clear. Like in a fog, where a lot is hidden, or a lot is just fuzzy. Almost nothing is clear. So today, thankfully, we have a beautiful clear day, but a lot of times, it’s foggy, and our world is very foggy, nothing is clear. But if we are sensitive to the signs that the Holy Spirit is giving us, we can participate in God’s hidden action. And I want to repeat that, because that’s the key that I want to focus on today. If we are sensitive to the signs that the Holy Spirit is giving, we can participate in God’s hidden action today. Because God’s designs are surprising. The thought among the pagans was that life is just an endless circle of repeating cycles. And nothing ever really changes. It just repeats over and over again. But the Christian idea that the God of the Bible shows something very different, that God is leading history towards a goal. Not endless cycles, but towards a goal. And He is leading it on this great plan that He has. And so we see that in Scripture. When we read in Scripture, we see so many surprising things that God did. Scripture is full of all sorts of surprises, from the great surprise of creation that begins at all sorts of surprising things. Leading up to the incarnation of Jesus. And then the Bible when it looks to the future, Jesus announces also, and in His words, and especially in the book of Revelation, all sorts of great surprises and in language that surprises so great that they’re only announced in symbolic language because we can’t understand them yet. But right now, also, God is acting in a hidden way. It’s so hidden that many don’t realize it and I’ve often talked about how God camouflages what He’s doing with it, ordinariness. And so most people don’t realize it. Even a lot of the experts don’t notice what’s really going on. And so how can we discover it? If it is hidden? And today’s feast of the Epiphany is a great example. The word epiphany means manifestation. But this manifestation most people didn’t realize it. But how did God manifest it? He gave it both exterior signs, and He gave interior inspiration, exterior signs and interior inspiration. And those the great exterior sign of the star. Many didn’t notice it. But still, it’s a star, It’s very clear. But apparently, many who saw it didn’t understand it, or simply didn’t care. The Magi were different. And why were they different? What was the difference? And this is important, because we saw that we can learn from them. They were hungry for God. And so, they were listening. They were attentive, they were trying to know, what is God saying? What is God doing? What is God’s will? So many people are just trying to do their own will. And so they’re only focused on what can get me what I want to do. But the Magi were not, they were trying to see what is God doing. What is God saying? Where is he leading things. And so they had a spirit of humility, of not trying to impose their way, but trying to be humbly open to the light of God. And they also trusted God, they trusted that God would not lie to them, and that God was good, and that God would take care of them, or guide them. So that their interior disposition, opened them up to the sign. And so, when they saw the sign, because of their interior openness, they also received an inspiration, and illumination. Other people saw the star. Oh, look, a big star, wow that’s unusual, and they got back to their business. But they were inspired, illuminated to sense that God is telling me something. This is a sign from God. It’s not just something that happened. It’s a sign from God. And that’s a very different way of seeing life. A lot of people, they, Oh, that’s just something that happened. That’s the way things happened, it’s just a coincidence. But if you’re attentive to try, if you know that God is the Lord of all, and God makes all things work for the good of those who love Him, then you can be attentive to see what are the signs that God is giving us and what is happening. Because you’re trying to read the signs, because you’re trying to be attentive to God. And you realize that, if His signs are all over, He’s always speaking to us in different ways. One example that Jesus gives a lot is nature, how Jesus even use like a seed, how much Jesus has many parables which are referring to seed, how much simple seeds are, God is speaking to us through sample something as simple as the seed, but also something as majestic as a star. And so, they become sensitive to this signs that the Holy Spirit gives. This, like, discrete signs is like whispers of the Holy Spirit, and His signs. And this is important for us, because God is also acting today in this world of darkness and fog that I mentioned. As, St. John says, “the whole world is under the domination of satan.” And it’s so evident today, his power is so, so strong today. But God is still working in ways. you know, satan was very strong already in the time of Jesus. King Herod, that this is talking of King Herod, King Herod that is called by history King Herod the Great for his work, but he was, he should be called King Herod the bloodthirsty King Herod the cruel, that the Massacre of the Innocents was just one of his great cruelties. And that’s such a bloodthirsty corrupt tyrant. And so, that was very dark and there was a lot of, already a lot of corruption in the temple, in the leaders of the people of Israel. And yet God was acting then, and God is acting today. But it’s often as I say, hidden. And that’s why our little Mission of Divine Mercy, God has taught us to be very attentive to His signs today. And signs, like the apparitions, so many apparitions that the Lord has given in the last say 150 years, last two centuries now, with an increase in frequency. And if we see these as not just oh, that’s some crazy curiosity. But as really signs that God is using to speak to us. With like, for instance, when He appeared at Fatima, when our Blessed Mother, appeared at Fatima, how much that some people just,oh, that’s just some, you know, some crazy thing that’s happening. But it was a sign and a very important sign. And depended on whether it was listened to or not listened to, there would be great consequences, as our Blessed Mother said, and we’re suffering the consequences of not listening to those signs, not being attentive to those signs, these prophetic signs that the Lord gave and is giving. One great example, of course, is St. Faustina, another great prophet of our time, as a sign that our times which are times of great evil, but are also times of mercy, and God is leading forward and great plan. Satan has his designs for cruelty, for oppression. But beyond that, God has His plans of mercy, His mysterious designs of mercy. And, that’s, as I say, something our community is called to, and I think it’s our vocation. But it’s our vocation, not just for us, but to help the whole world be more attentive to the signs, to the great prophetic signs that the Lord has given. For instance, one of the sign is the number of Eucharistic miracles, there have been an increasing in the last several decades has been increasing number of Eucharistic miracles. And even a number of people that have spoken to us have, have experienced sometimes, some of the Eucharistic miracles are more or more evidence, some are just witnessed by one or a few people. But the Lord seems to be multiplying this miracle, and a time in which there’s the faith in the Real Presence of Jesus and in His sacrifice in the Eucharist is, so it’s been attacked, the Lord is multiplying these miracles. Those are signs that the Lord has given us. And so that’s the point I wanted to focus on today. That the Lord in these difficult times, is giving us signs. And if we’re attentive, if we have this humble attitude of trusting the Lord and seeking His will, then we can notice the signs, the signs He gives. And so, in Mass, in the Mass that we’re celebrating today, we have the great sign of His words, in Sacred Scripture, the Scripture that we’ve just listened to, and leading us as it led the magi to come adore the God, the great God of majesty, who was appearing as a little child, who become a humble little child. So, the word of God leads us to recognize our majestic Lord, hidden in the Eucharistic host. And so, we come to adore Him, to render Him homage. Because by faith, we believe in His presence. And His presence right now is still very hidden. We know that one day it will manifest itself in majesty so that His Eucharistic presence will reign in our world. And that’s what the Magi are the signs of when all the nations of the world will bow down and worship to the God who has become man present among us in the Holy Eucharist. And so, I want to end just by rereading this, some of these words from this great, this great prophetic passage of Isaiah. And when it speaks of Jerusalem and remember that Jerusalem is a prefiguration of the Church and Jerusalem suffered a lot of corruption, like there’s often a lot of corruption in the members of the Church. But God will, when it speaks here of this splendor of Jerusalem about St. John calls the New Jerusalem he sees descending from heaven in the book of Revelation is a sign of the great renewal that God that will bring about of the Church. So, Isaiah says, “Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem, your light has come. The glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick clouds cover the peoples. But upon you, the Lord shines and over you appears His glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about, they all gather and come to you. Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.” How many people have left the Church? How many members of the Church have gone far away, and this is showing the sons and daughters returning from afar. “Raise your eyes and look about they all gather and come to you. Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall be radiant, radiant with joy, radiant with holiness, radiant with glory. At what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow. More than your heart can even contain of joy proclaiming the Praises of the Lord. Amen.
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