Bringing Light to All People

Reflection for the Feast of the Epiphany by FAN Board Member, David Seitz, OFS

This reflection was originally posted in our December 30th newsletter

Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay

The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the discovery of Jesus. A discovery of Jesus by the ruling class with mixed reaction. For the Magi, it is an occasion of Joy and Wonder. They have seen the light! They wish to follow that light and encounter the new king, God’s incarnation and their savior. While they did not have the understanding we have today, following the light of a star, finding a babe, and perhaps not fully aware of His significance, it is an example for all of us to seek and follow the light to Jesus.

For Herod and the rulers of Judea, the birth of the newborn king of the Jews is met with fear, jealousy and perceived as a threat to the status quo. Herod, a cunning king, sends the Magi on a mission. “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” (Mt 2:8) In hindsight, we know Herod’s intentions. His homage to the newborn king is to have him killed and removed as an obstacle or threat to his earthly kingly power.

In our world today, the light of the newborn king is still met by many who hold power with fear, jealousy and tighten their grip against perceived threats. Those seeking to follow the light, the light of the Gospel, seeking the newborn king, Jesus, and shining that light into the “darkness that covers the earth” (Is 6:2) reveal to the world institutions of greed, deception, injustice, abuse of power, discrimination and exploitation of human persons and creation. The reading from Isaiah gives us hope. “Upon you the Lord will dawn, and over you his glory will be seen. Nations shall walk by your light, kings by the radiance of your dawning.” As Christians, and as Franciscans, we are called to follow the light to Jesus and shine that light into the dark places of the world. Admittedly, this is often met with resistance by those in power.

We are called to take the light to the people and their leaders. Psalm 72 from this week’s readings is labeled as a prayer for the king. It sums up a leader’s mission. “O God, give your judgment to the king; your justice to the king’s son; That he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment, that the mountains may yield their bounty for the people, and the hills great abundance, that he may defend the oppressed among the people, save the children of the poor and crush the oppressor.” (Ps 72: 2-4) The psalm calls out one of the duties of the rulers, “show pity to the needy and the poor and save the lives of the poor. From extortion and violence he redeems them.” (Ps 72:13-14)

Sisters and brothers, it is our duty to remind our leaders of their obligation to be servants and not exploiters. Let us pray for our leaders using the words of Psalm 72 and recommit ourselves to shining the light into the darkness of the world.

David Seitz, OFS
FAN Board Member

Published in: on December 31, 2019 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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