Monday, January 8, 2018
“We come together at Epiphany simply to recognize that light does shine in our midst, God’s word is active among us. What we have to do is listen with our heart and make that act of faith.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 7, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, celebrated Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
In his homily, the cardinal reflected on the prophet Isaiah’s words from the day’s first reading, “Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you” (Is. 60:1). “What does it mean to say that the glory of the Lord, our Light, has come?,” Cardinal Wuerl asked. “And what impact does that have on our lives? What we’re talking about is not a light outside. We’re talking about that spiritual inner light.”
Cardinal Wuerl noted this light – the inner light of the Holy Spirit – shines in us in different ways: “Sometimes this light takes the form of an insight, a quiet sense of understanding, or maybe the rather startling recognition that there is a very deep meaning to the things I have already professed many times in the Creed.”
Cardinal Wuerl indicated how one must respond to this light: “We need to do more than just listen with our ears. We have to, as the common expression says, take those words to heart. We need to reflect and mull over those words so that they touch not just our ears, but they actually touch our heart, our mind, our soul.”
Just as at Christmas, the Church celebrated the revelation of the Christ-child, the cardinal said so at the Epiphany, “We come here in faith today, led by that same light that led the Magi, the light of God’s revelation, the light of God’s word, so that with the eyes of faith, we can enter into [the] presence [of] the Lord with us.”
Each person must imitate the Magi, Cardinal Wuerl stated, who followed the star to the Savior: “And just as they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, so you and I will bring gifts of faith, hope, and love: Our faith in God’s word, because we believe it, our hope that we might live that word, and our love as an expression of how profoundly true that light is in our lives.”
Cardinal Wuerl concluded that we celebrate the Epiphany with joy because “God’s light has dawned in the mind and heart of not just his Church, but each one of us.”
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The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 93 Catholic schools, in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.
Chieko Noguchi or Emma Vinton