The Epiphany of the Lord - Year C - 6th January 2019
"Bethlehem" - a Place to be Born
Bill Bryson, in his first book, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America, opens with the line: "I come from Des Moines (Iowa). Somebody had to,"
In many ways, something similar could have been said about Bethlehem in Judea - it was a small town compared with Jerusalem where the great King Herod lived. Yet, Bethlehem had a prestigious history - it was the home of the shepherd-king, David, the place from whence the great leader of the chosen people would come.
Royalty attracts Royalty
Of course the Magi, now know as Kings, came in convoy and, by tradition, their first port of call would be to another King, Herod. Yet they stayed with their inner convictions and followed the star to Bethlehem. They exchanged the palace for a house, curtsying to common folk, to Mary, to Joseph and to the new-born king of the Jews. They presented gold to the would-be shepherd-king; frankincense to a future priest and myrrh as the oil of anointing for a Messiah, the one who would bring good news to all God's people.
A Mission of like-to-like - commoners to commoners!
St. John Paul II gave us the mission to pass on to others the good news given to us. It means simply to be Epiphany people. We must follow that inner guiding star, that well-informed conscience which will guide and lead us and, hopefully, halt over that Bethlehem place where Jesus will be found. Let us kneel and worship, both in church and before those from the less prestigious places of life.
Fr. Michael McCullagh, C.M.