They Saw A Great Light | Word from the Shepherd No. 160

Epiphany | Year C
Isa.60:1-6; Eph.3:2-6; Matt.2:1-12

After destroying all the Christian seminaries and religious books, Mao Tse Tung declared:”Christianity has been permanently removed from China.”

On Easter Sunday in the year 2009, a picture of the Tiananmen Square appeared on the front page of a Hong Kong paper, with Jesus replacing Chairman Mao’s picture on a gigantic banner. The words below it said: “Christ Is Risen”.

The Chinese must have seen a great light… to be able to do such a thing.

The scriptures talk about this: “Seeing a great light”.

Isaiah said: “the people who walked in darkness has seen a great light”.

Paul to the Ephesians said: “God’s grace has been revealed”.

Matthew talks about the wise men from the East who had seen the star, that filled them with delight.

What happens when we encounter such a light? The effects are manifold.

Isaiah saw increase of gladness and joy, the breaking of the burdensome yoke, end to warring ways and the return of the reign of peace, justice and integrity.

Paul says that we become God’s own to do good, with no ambitions.

Ravi Zaccharius, in His book “Has Christianity Failed Us?” wrote, hardened criminals became good; violent radicals and terrorists became men of peace and reconciliation; and hostile anti-Christian governments took on new ethos, new spirit and mindset.

How can this be? What changed them?

  1. The Word of God: it came to them FIRST in the form of dreams, prophecies or messages from angels
  2. The Confirmation: they saw the sign as it was told to them by the Word or Message. It confirmed that God was at work, that it was His way and it was the Lord.
  3. The God-with-us Experience: they were filled with a deep love. They saw, they believed, they went to tell, they took a new path.

We need to desire to “see the Light, the star and the Light of the World. To see this light

  1. We need to avoid the illusory light (the fake, the neon lights, temporary and impermanent). It is not trying anything and everything, taking risks, following blindly our emotions and building on nothing. (Nietchez)
  2. We need to seek God’s Light. It is a gift that comes from God. It is an encounter, an experience of illumination and being seized by a Love that transforms us.( Pope Francis)
  3. We need to be attentive daily to the Word that points to a Sign that move us profess “it is the Lord”.

In His Light, we see reality, life and situations differently.