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Epiphany of the Lord

Jesus communicates to the Magi the three rays of his Divinity

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Dear Brothers and Sisters, Fiat!

Today, the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Gospel (cf. Mt 2:1-12) presents us with three attitudes with which Christ Jesus’ coming and his manifestation to the world were welcomed. The first attitude: searching, diligent searching; the second: indifference; the third: fear.

Diligent searching: The Magi do not hesitate to set out on a journey to seek the Messiah. Arriving in Jerusalem, they ask: “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him” (v. 2). They made a long journey and now with great care, they attempt to locate where the newborn King can be found. In Jerusalem, they turn to King Herod, who asks the high priests and the scribes to discover the place where the Messiah was to be born.

This diligent searching of the Magi contrasts with the second attitude: the indifference of the high priests and the scribes. These people are very complacent. They know the Scriptures and are able to give the correct answer on the birthplace: “in Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet” (v. 5); they know, but they do not go out of their way to visit the Messiah. And Bethlehem is a few kilometres away, but they don’t budge.

Even more negative is the third attitude, that of Herod: fear. He is afraid that that Child will take away his power. He summons the Magi and has them tell him when the star appeared to them and he sends them to Bethlehem saying: “Go and search diligently for the child and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him” (v. 8). In reality, Herod does not want to go to worship Jesus; Herod wants to know where the child is — not to adore Him — but to eliminate Him, because he considers Him a rival. And listen carefully: fear always leads to hypocrisy. Hypocrites are like this because their hearts are filled with fear.

These are the three attitudes that we find in the Gospel: the diligent searching of the Magi; the indifference of the high priests and the scribes, of those familiar with theology; and the fear of Herod. And we too can think and choose which of the three to assume. Do I wish to diligently search for Jesus? “But Jesus means nothing to me… I have peace of mind…”. Or, do I fear Jesus and want to eliminate him from my heart?

Selfishness can lead us to consider Jesus’ coming into our life as a threat. Thus we try to suppress or to silence Jesus’ message. When we follow human ambitions, the most comfortable prospects, tendencies toward evil, Jesus is perceived as an obstacle.

On the other hand, the temptation of indifference is also always present. Even though we know that Jesus is the Saviour — ours, of us all — we prefer to live as if he were not: instead of behaving in coherence with our own Christian faith, we follow worldly principles that entice us to satisfy tendencies toward arrogance, toward thirsting for power, toward riches.

We are instead called to follow the example of the Magi: to be diligent in searching, prepared to go out of our way to encounter Jesus in our lives. Seeking him in order to adore him, to acknowledge that he is our Lord, the One who reveals the true path to be followed. If we have this attitude, Jesus truly saves us, and we can live a fine life; we can grow in faith, in hope, in charity toward God and toward our brothers and sisters.

In her diary, on January 6, 1901, Luisa says that as she was outside of herself, she seemed to see the moment when the holy Magi arrived at the grotto of Bethlehem. As they arrived in the presence of the Baby, He was pleased to let the rays of His Divinity shine externally, communicating Himself to the Magi in three ways - through love, through beauty and through power – in such a way that they remained enraptured and engrossed in the presence of Little Baby Jesus; so much so, that if the Lord had not withdrawn again the rays of His Divinity internally, they would have remained there forever, unable to move any more. Then, as the Baby withdrew His Divinity, the holy Magi returned into themselves; they stirred themselves, stupefied, in seeing an excess of love so great, because through that light the Lord had let them understand the mystery of the Incarnation. Then they stood up and offered their gifts to the Queen Mother, and She spoke with them at length. She inculcated into them, strongly, not only their own salvation, but also taking to heart the salvation of their peoples, with no fear even to lay down their lives to obtain the intent.

After that, Luisa withdrew into herself and she found herself together with Jesus. He wanted her to tell Him something, but she saw herself so bad and confused that she would not dare to tell Him anything. Seeing that Luisa was not saying anything, Jesus Himself continued to speak about the holy Magi, telling her that by having communicated Himself to the Magi in three ways, He obtained for them three effects, because He never communicate Himself to souls uselessly; rather, they always receive some profit for themselves. So, as Jesus communicated Himself through love, they obtained detachment from themselves; through beauty, they obtained contempt of earthly things; and through power, their hearts remained all bound to Jesus, and they obtained the bravery to lay down their blood and life for Him.

Let us also rejoice because God reveals to us the true light, Christ, the Savior King, in so many ways. He always, in His mercy, watches over those who walk guided by a star. Once again, we feel within us profound gratitude to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. She is the perfect image of the Church which gives the light of Christ to the world: she is the Star of evangelization. "Respice Stellam," St Bernard says to us: look to the Star, you who go in search of truth and peace; turn your gaze to Mary, and she will show you Jesus, light for every person and for all peoples

don Marco
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