This Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. On this day, we focus on the wise men, the Magi who were on a difficult journey of faith to encounter the Lord. They faced many risks and obstacles on their journey. These risks and obstacles included the danger inherent in traveling on a difficult and arduous journey. They probably battled the hot blazing sun by day and the freezing cold at night. They were probably, at times, hungry, frustrated, and tempted to turn back. Yet, they persevered on their journey to encounter Christ.
Commenting on this journey, Our Holy Father Pope Francis stated, “The Magi teach us that we need to set out anew each day, in life as in faith, for faith is not a suit of armor that encases us; instead, it is a fascinating journey, a constant and restless movement, ever in search of God, always discerning our way forward.”
As we reflect on these words, we realize that like the wise men we also are on a difficult journey of faith to encounter the Lord, and we also face many obstacles. We may encounter obstacles in the form of friends, co-workers and even loved ones who subject us to ridicule because we dare to search for the Lord in our lives.
In addition, we may encounter those in our society who do not want to include a place for the Lord in our marriages, in our homes, or in our schools. We may also have to deal with our own pride, stubbornness, and selfishness which may be serious obstacles for us.
Fortunately, like the wise men, we do not undertake our spiritual journey alone. Like these wise men, we are part of a community, a family of faith. We journey and persevere as a community of faith, despite the risks and obstacles which we may encounter on a daily basis. As a community of faith, we can assist each other in overcoming the many obstacles we face. We need each other’s guidance; we need each other’s support; we need each other’s encouragement; we need each other’s prayers.
Pope Francis, in the past, has challenged us, as Catholics, to be a more integral part of the Church. He spoke of the need for community and the bond of unity and sharing that should mark the lives of all Christians on their spiritual journey.
As we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, as disciples, we can lift each other up spiritually as we reaffirm our commitment to strive to give honor and glory to the Lord who loves us.