1. The First Reading says that, though darkness covered the earth, light and glory had come to Jerusalem. Are you always aware of God’s light and glory? What about God’s actions in your life?
2. Did Jerusalem have light of her own? Were nations coming to her or to the light? What do you think draws people to the Church today: power or tenderness? How is Pope Francis’ statement below like the “star” of the first Epiphany?
I would like to say to those who feel far from God and from the Church—I would like to say respectively—to all those who are fearful or indifferent: the Lord is also calling you to be a part of his people and he does so with deep respect and love!” The Lord is calling you. The Lord is seeking you. The Lord is waiting for you. The Lord does not proselytize, he loves, and this love seeks you, waits for you, you who at this moment do not believe or are far away. And this is the love of God.
Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
1. Just what was this mystery that brightened the whole world? Why was the star an integral part of the story?
2. Paul says that a revelation was given him by the Spirit. It said that Christ’s life was too great to be limited to its starting place. His life was for all generations and not only the Jews but the Gentiles as well. All are “coheirs, members of the same body.” Did the star’s light shine on each and every person, precious and irreplaceable, in God’s eyes? Do we all need each other?
1. God sent the Magi a message that caused them to ride camels half way across the known world. What would motivate you to put in this kind of effort? For them, what was worth this kind of search? These wise men were responsive to revelations from God and their openness brought them to Bethlehem. They were not disappointed. Is there a lesson here?
2. What is the main contrast between Jerusalem and Bethlehem? Between Herod and the Magi? What does this tell you about places and people God chooses? At the end of this story Joseph, Mary and Jesus ended up running from Herod. Do we find “Herods” in the world today? Who are “Joseph, Mary and Jesus” running from today?