Epiphany of the Lord

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Epiphany

There were three types of people seeking the Baby Jesus. We have Herod, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men (or Magi). All three types of people received, in their own way, signs which pointed them forward to where Christ the babe was.

Herod in his worldly power, had the scribes and pharisees at his disposal, as we see them read out to him a prophecy from Micah 5 (Mt 2:6).

God showed the Magi of the East a Star — a fitting phenomenon that matched their astrology profession. (Mt 2:2)

Finally, we have the Shepherds, to whom God sent His angels personally to reveal to them that the Christ was born in Bethlehem. (Lk 2:8-16)

God meets all of us where we are. Our background, culture and races do not matter. To some, God shows us through small signs and sometimes through our friends. To those seeking Truth, God directs us according to our intellect. For the simple and contemplative, God speaks to us clearly through prayer and silence.

The perennial question still lies before us: ‘What would we do when we receive the signs of our Lord?’ For Herod, he was afraid to make a change in his life, for he already had everything he could ever dream of from the world — wealth, women, power. Herod desired to maintain the status quo and even sought to destroy the Babe. The Shepherds and the Magi, however, had the faith to follow the signs given by God.

The Babe was thus never seen by Herod — the one who thought he knew it all. Only the Shepherds and the Magi found the Babe — those who knew that they knew nothing (Shepherds), and those who knew that they did not know everything (Magi). And most importantly, we know that their lives changed after seeing Christ.

Not even God can reach the proud-hearted. Only the humble can find God.

 

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Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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