JONEL B. DALIMAG CICM, Baguio City Isaiah 8:23—9:3 Psalm 27:1,4, 13-14 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17 Matthew 4:12-23 John is perhaps the youngest person at his time to recognize Jesus. John was still in the womb (unborn) of his mother Elizabeth when he leapt for joy in recognition of Jesus (Lk. 1:41). John felt again Jesus’…
Before a revelation, there was a promise. There was a promise about the light- the true light that gives light to everyone who is coming into the world. John the Baptist testified about this. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us. There was a promise of a Messiah, which John the Baptist testified, and denied it was him – for a greater man that comes before him will come. These we can see in the prior verses 1-28 of the gospel of John, before the text for this lectionary.
Sometimes it is called The Three Kings or the Visit of the Magi. This feast is familiar to us. It conjures up colorful pictures of a journey, a search, with only a star as a guide. It is placed in the liturgical cycle to deepen and broaden an understanding of incarnation. The chosen Scripture texts are inspirational as they open us up to the needs of the world, and the wisdom of nature.
Balik-Tanaw | The solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, king of the universe of monarchs, an encyclical, and salvation in poetry
For centuries, monarchs have played a significant role in the civil and political life of a people. Its presence has either inspired its nation or caused so much suffering. There are evidences of dungeons in castles to torture subjects who do not give in to the whims and caprices of the King. There are stories of monarchy known to have given up life for charitable acts, deep spirituality, and saintly persuasions setting a new path for following Jesus, their beloved. From flag-waving-for-the-monarchy fanatics to enlightened-taxpayers-who-question-their -extravagant lifestyles, it is clear that monarchs of this world have imposed a presence that may be relevant or irrelevant for the people of our times.
Many people have always imagined God’s coming to bring disasters, wars, earthquakes, famines, and destruction. Some would proclaim that God is coming back because the signs of the times mentioned in the Gospel text (Luke 21:5-19) occur occasionally, one after the other, causing so much suffering — especially among our society’s marginalized sectors.
In Luke, a widow’s persistence, vigilance, and militancy were characteristics that challenged even the most heartless, unfeeling, and callous of judge. She banged the walls of a court dominated by men of power and influence. She raised her voice so loudly that they could do nothing to make her quiet.
Despite being scared, we must continue our mission towards a world with no violence, a world where peace and justice reigns. This should be our motivation, being followers of Christ. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. (Luke 14:33).
By living a life of humility and gratitude to God, we therefore must always remember those whom our Lord Jesus Christ cared for – the poor, the destitute, those who have nothing and those who long for God’s complete salvation. For we once were like them, in need of God’s salvation.
But, the greatest preparation of them all is this, are we ready to accept and claim the comprehensive notion of salvation (economic, political, cultural, spiritual and environmental) that only comes from God? Are we ready to follow the way, the truth and the life who is Jesus Christ? We know we will die sometime, but we do not know exactly when. Did we address the things that truly matters, like love, forgiveness and reconciliation before we die?
Priests and Levites were the good guys. They were models of society in word and deed. They were expected to help the wounded: their fellow Jew, on that “bloody way” connecting Jerusalem to Jericho. But they did not.
Today we also are called to draw closer to Jesus and his mission of bringing about a new reign of justice, peace and love. As disciples, we know from experience the path is not easy. Moving into a new Government, we need to heed the advice of Jesus to his talmidim to be alert, especially as we see hungry farmers still being arrested for planting food crops, false charges against progressive people and organizations continuing, ecological defenders harassed and killed and indigenous peoples displaced.