The story is told about a little boy who asked his father: “Dad, I am a little confused. They say that if you eat lechon baboy, you eat pork, right? And if you eat lechon baka, you eat beef. So if you eat lechon kawali, do you eat a frying pan?”
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the revelation of the Messiah to the Gentiles, the manifestation of God’s plan of salvation for all humankind. The people at that time were a little confused as to what or who the Messiah is. As it was then, so it is still now. The searching goes on.
In today’s Gospel (Mt 2, 1-12), we learn of how the Magi found the Messiah. Why? They searched diligently and they were guided by a star. Let us take our cue from them. If we want to find God, we must be diligent, and we must be open to guidance from above. To find God, we must go out of our way and leave our comfort zone.
The shepherds also found the Messiah. Why? Because they were simple and humble. Complicated and proud people cannot find God because they do their search from their own perspective and from their vantage point. The truth of the matter is that we do not find God. Rather, we find God if we allow ourselves to be found by Him.
Fr. Emil Lim, SVD, writes in “The Word in Other Words” (Logos Publications) that there are four pointers to find Jesus: “The journey, the star, the gifts, and a different way home.” All of us have to make the journey to find God. We must continue to follow the star no matter how difficult the journey is. We must offer our gifts to God as we journey on—i.e., our time, resources, and talents, as our way of doing homage to Him. Finally, we must not go back to our old ways. We must not backtrack. We must move on to broader and newer horizons.
One must-have companion in our journey is prayer. Nowadays people have GPS, Waze, and other applications so that they are guided and do not lose their way. In the same way, we need prayer to guide us and help us find our way to God’s heart. Prayer is not only a compass that guides us, but also the fuel that lets us keep going.
More and more I realize the value and wisdom of praying the Breviary, the Liturgy of the Hours. It is the official prayer of the Church, in union with the whole world, sanctifying the hours from sunrise to sunset. When a priest prays the Breviary, he realizes how little he is before this great and tremendous God, and how he can find refuge, guidance, forgiveness and strength from Him.
I remember how Papa always reminded me about the Breviary, and I appreciate him for that. May I also ask you, dear reader, to join us, aside from your personal prayers, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily.
The “Pandasal” (the “food prayer,” so to speak, from sunup to sundown) is a beautiful and handy prayer book compiled by the priests and brothers of the Society of St. Paul which contains the Mass for the day as well as the morning and evening prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours. It is a big help for the priests, religious and the laity who are in search of discipline, depth and dynamism in their daily prayer. It is available at Catholic bookstores (www.stpauls.ph/pandasal).
We have the year 2017 ahead of us. Let us make the journey not so much in search of more money, power, or fame as in search of our Savior. We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future in His hands, and that is enough. Let us trust Him more, and worry less. Let us stay focused on our star, and let us stay together.
Thought for the journey: Learn to let go and to let God, learn to travel light. Remember, the journey is not about going far and fast. The journey is going to the heart—to one’s heart, to other people’s hearts, and to God’s heart.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, be with us in our journey. Help us not to be discouraged, and not to stop searching for better ways. Amen.
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