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主顯節 Homily for The Epiphany of the Lord January 8th, 2023


Homily for The Epiphany of the Lord

January 8th, 2023

Franklin Fong, OFM


  This weekend’s readings provide us with some unifying themes to help us appreciate and understand what the meaning of having God with us as a human baby. This is the essence of the meaning of Epiphany: that AHH Ha moment when we get the point of the message.

  The first reading from Isaiah presents to us the first visual image of the light of God’s presence in our life in the darkness. The connection between this light and the glory of God is clearly stated. We can now see clearly that God is present and makes all the difference in what is happening.

  The second reading from Ephesians also clearly points out that God’s grace is for Gentiles as well as those who already believe in God and Jesus. This would include the stranger, the foreigner, the one who might speak a different language or have a different culture. They are the Co-Heirs and are not to be excluded from our concerns.

  The gospel reading from Matthew now presents us with specific examples of these Gentiles or outsiders who seek the light of God’s love by paying homage to the birth of Jesus Christ. There is something special of our spiritual truth that caused the Gentiles to seek at this special moment of the presence of "God is with us". Clearly then this is an invitation for us to identify with the magi or the gentiles.

  These outsiders are three magi or astrologers, persons who study the movements of the stars. Remember Jewish orthodoxy did not recognize astrology as a way to seek God. And we hear in these readings that the Magi bring three distinctive gifts - which give us an indication of what they are anticipating for the life of the baby Jesus.

  The first gift is of gold. Let’s think a moment for what analogies there might be for gold. The initial thought that comes to most folks is that the gold gives the receiving person the power to accomplish something through the power of using that gold.

  Another way of seeing that gold is that the magi themselves were the gold of the gift. The personification of that gold might be their energy, or their enthusiasm, or their skills that would be given to the new king to use in building God’s kingdom.

  The incense suggests that Gentiles or new members can help us renew the way we experience and express reverence for God. Outsiders are interested in us not just because we're an attractive social group or a place to hear nice music. They hope we're a channel for contact with a mysterious God. In our humility we have to admit that often times, we need time to reflect on God’s actions in our lives. So that the incense may be more indicative of how difficult it is for us humans to grasp God’s vision and purpose for our life on earth.

  Finally, the Magi, outsiders, present burial spices to the new born baby. What an interesting gift which indicate they understand that the baby will need to make sacrifices in his life to achieve his purpose on this earth.

  But in the same token, the Magi, outsiders, are coming to us and want a community of courageous believers whose convictions and bonds are stronger than death.

  Now we can begin to see that the Gentiles of the world seek a truth that we cherish, and they bring with themselves, the gold of their enthusiasm, the incense of the mystery of God’s plan for the world, and the spices needed by a community who is willing to make sacrifices because of our faith and trust in a loving God.

  So is our Church community willing to put ourselves at the disposal of the Reign of God in the world?

  Because we live in an American culture that stresses individualism each one of us has made that personal commitment to make those necessary sacrifices in our personal lives to be that disciple of Jesus Christ. We as individuals understand the personal decision of Mary, of Joseph, of Elizabeth and of Zechariah to say yes to the angels.

  As a faith community, we are as well called to make sacrifices as a group of disciples to build the kingdom of God. The three Magi, and the group of shepherds are exactly the example of decision making by a faith community to make that leap of faith – traveling great distances to a foreign land to bring symbolic gifts and to pay homage .

  In this time of the 45th anniversary of the Chinese Catholic Community, is a wonderful time to reflect on those leaps of faith that this faith community has made in these past 45 years. It is in recalling and naming these leaps of faith that we can deepen our understanding of what it means practically to be a faith community and not simply faithful individuals.

  From the culture of the 60’s we get the saying which applies to this current situation: If you can’t name it, you can’t claim it !

  So take some time to name what those leaps of faith may have been over these 20 years. Name what the fears were, and name what happened next. How did the Holy Spirit confirm your trust in God by making those leaps of faith?

  So you now can now understand a little bit better what these Magi or outsiders have done to help us live more clearly and openly our lives as devoted disciples of Jesus Christ ! It is takes the stranger to remind us of

1) the power of enthusiasm,

2) the mystery of God’s action in the world, and

3) the sacrifices we must be willing to make because of our faith.

  In the eucharist, Jesus once again manifests himself to us, feeding us in the form of bread and wine.

  Like the magi, we come to him in adoration, bringing him gifts of ourselves.

  In the eucharist, we receive the joy of encountering Jesus.

  In the eucharist, God asks us to tread on a new path, the way to evangelize.

  So take some time this coming week to reflect on how these three gifts were expressed in your personal and communal faith journey!

That my brothers and sisters is

 the great news for this Epiphany season.

Alleluia Alleluia






禮儀年甲年主顯節的講道, 2023 年 1 月 8 日

讀經一 : 依撒意亞先知書

讀經二: 厄弗所書



本週末的讀經為我們提供了一些統一的主題,以幫助我們欣賞和理解作為人類嬰兒有天主與我們同在的意義。這就是 Epiphany (主顯節) 意義的本質:當我們明白信息的要點時,那 AHH Ha (頓悟) 時刻。















在華人天主教會成立 45 週年之際,正是反思這個信仰團體在過去 45 年中實現的信仰飛躍的絕佳時機。正是通過回憶和指稱這些信仰的飛躍,我們才能加深對成為一個信仰團體而不僅僅是忠實的個人的實際意義的理解。

從 1960 年代的文化中我們得到適用於當前情況的說法:如果你不能指稱它,你就不能聲稱它! 因此,請花點時間說出最近這 20 年來信仰的飛躍可能是什麼。說出恐懼是什麼,說出接下來發生的事情。聖神如何通過這些信心的飛躍來確認你對天主的信任?

1) 熱情的力量,
2) 天主在世界上作為的奧秘,以及
3) 我們必須因為我們的信仰而願意做出犧牲。







阿肋路亞, 阿肋路亞。