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Friday, January 4, 2013




Matthew 2:1-12

To listen (Australian Catholic Radio Online):

The three Persons of the Trinity from all eternity were giving the gift of their persons to one another in perfect charity.  We could say, that was the first “exchange gifts” ever.  The outpouring of that Trinitarian charity gave birth to creation which is the manifestation of the Trinitarian life.  God truly revealed His presence by walking in and through creation; St. Augustine calls it the “vestiges (or the imprints) of the Trinity”.  It was the first Epiphany of God.

When the Second Person of the Trinity became flesh, God once again manifest Himself by showing not just His imprints but His very face.  This time it was the outpouring of God’s mercy that He showed Himself again to save creation by becoming a creature Himself.  Through this Epiphany, Jesus showed that His was the face of mercy! 

God offered Himself as a gift.  How did people respond to such a magnificent gift?  The Israelites sneered and rejected the gift; they would not even give Him a room! Like the Israelites, Herod did not just reject the gift but he did all he could to destroy it. The magi who represented the Gentiles left their homes in search of “something greater than themselves”.  When they found the baby, they entered the house and from that very moment, the Messiah welcomed the first people into His Church.   The star guided them in their journey.  Those who honestly search for the meaning of life will always be guided by the disguised presence of God be it through the persons they meet on the way or through simple objects or even through insignificant events.  Some of the stars in our lives fade away in oblivion, we may even forget their names but they continuously shine brightly in our hearts.  The magi offered the baby their gifts; meeting God through the face of a little child is so powerful that it can melt the heart of the greediest person.   To those who truly encounter God can not but express their charity even to giving up their lives in the case of martyrs and saints.   After Christmas, it is more than the new year’s resolutions that we promise God but the continuous gifting of ourselves even out of our poverty.  The magi after encountering God took a different route on their way home.  It was a sign of true conversion.  It is hard but sometimes after worshipping God, we go back to the many Herods of our lives. 

The next persons who saw first the face of God were the shepherds because they were simple and pure of heart.  Like the magi, they were the first ones to proclaim the Word made flesh.  In the simplicity of their wisdom, they became the first prophets of the Incarnation.  Those who encounter God can not but become “evangelizers of the Word” not only by preaching but in the witnessing of their ordinary lives. 

But the very first receivers of God’s gift were Mary and Joseph; they were given the singular gift of gazing for the very first time the face of God because they had given their selves to God most generously.  One day, it would break Mary’s heart to see that face again covered with blood.   Mary would have to  give that gift to others as a supreme offering for to withhold the gift is to perish.  She teaches us that the excruciating pain in giving would lead to the supreme joy of receiving.  That is the true essence of a gift.

God continuously shows His face to the world, in the “here and now epiphany” through the people around us; when we look into their eyes we can see the true image of God. 


  1. Hi Father Vlad! I am blown away this afternoon by your true vision of Epiphany and all that it brings, gives and helps us to receive, especially when we accept God's Word of Life into our very own lives. Your words are so inspirational, profound and cut straight to the heart. I am "in awe" not "over-awed" but "in awe". Thank you for the gift you have given to us on the eve of the Solemnity of Epiphany. Best Wishes, Margaret Meek.

  2. Thanks Margaret. Everything is a gift; every moment is an epiphany!

  3. Thank you Fr. Vlad, as always you transform your words into a screenplay for us to better understand and meditate on the message. I appreciate you and Fr. Fleming for your continuing care for the flock and enable me to converse with God in the serenity of my sacred space and time. Please continue in igniting the light in our hearts.

    1. With your comment, I just realize now that I have been a shepherd to a global flock to some individuals in 96 countries (and counting). I am humbled!

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