IN THE LIGHT BUT SEEKING THE LIGHT. Prayer Reflection for Epiphany Sunday, Year

Are you in the light but seeking the light? You will answer this question correctly after reading this. Have you ever tried evangelizing those of other religions, or tried sharing your faith with a non-believer? Sadly many Christians don't even know their faith talk more about sharing with another. One of the challenges evangelizing those of other faiths is this: they do not recognize the Bible of Christians as an authority, probably, because they have their own scriptures or codes. But after this encounter, you shall be prepared and equipped with tools for taking this step in your Christian life. Are you ready, read slowly...

Matthew 2:1-12
After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’ When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. ‘At Bethlehem in Judaea,’ they told him ‘for this is what the prophet wrote: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means least among the leaders of Judah, for out of you will come a leader who will shepherd my people Israel.’
POINTS FOR REFLECTION 
1. The star is key in the epiphany (self-manifestation) of Jesus in the world because it served as a link between the pagans represented by the Magi and the Jews who had a deposit of Divine revelation (as Scriptures and prophecies). While the wise men depended on the light of natural reasoning and expertise in astrology to identify stars and interpret spiritual realities, the Jews, on the contrary, depending on the scriptures. But one was at the service of the other: scriptures served natural reason- faith served human reasoning or science. Reason began the search, but when it got lost, faith found it. 
2. To evangelize others you need to begin from what they know leading them patiently and gradually to that they do not know. It is a gradual movement because like the Magi following the direction of the star from the East to Jerusalem, it could take days, months, and years. That gradual journey must definitely terminate at questions to which reason, the natural sciences, or their beliefs can not provide answers, and then faith shines and stands out.
3. But faith shines out for those with knowledge of it. King Herod was in Israel, among those who were the custodians of the deposit of faith (scriptures) but he was lost and could not provide answers to the wise men until he consulted the Chief priests and scribes. So also today many Christians: Catholics, priests, pastors, ministers, laity, etc possess the deposit of faith but are still confused or lost when questions bordering faith and praxis come up. When the flock of God seeks divine direction and raises pertinent questions over their predicaments, they have nothing to offer. In this situation how can they evangelize those of other faiths or non-believer? You cannot give what you don't have.

4. One of the surest means of reaching out to non-believers or others is by becoming a 'star'- playing the servant role of the star by pointing Jesus to others. That service role should manifest in love and effective prayers. So many Muslims and non-Catholics follow me today because I pray for them and as they raise their questions and doubts, I answer them with copious examples and demonstrations. The evidence before them makes the difference, just as it was for the Magi. 
TASK: Today ask yourself how deep is the knowledge of my faith and the Bible? Quoting the bible does not mean having a deep understanding. A deeper understanding begins when you can interpret the faith (why you believe what you believe) using the Bible. Start now by reading and interpreting your daily experiences in the light of God's revealed Word. With this, no one can confuse you.

ARE YOU ABOUT TO MAKE AN IMPORTANT CHOICE IN YOUR LIFE THIS YEAR? IF YES YOU MAY NEED TO READ THIS: ASKING FOR A DIVINE SIGN TO GUIDE YOUR CHOICES

© Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ 

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