By Kaelanne Jordan
In the Solemnity of the Epiphany – the overwhelming manifestation of God’s light – faithful ought to consider who God is, but also, what was his/her specific epiphany? What were the times when an overwhelming manifestation of God was experienced when something different was set in your heart, or something inside was set in a new way because of what was experienced or encountered.
Archbishop Jason Gordon posed these thought-provoking questions to faithful in his homily for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Sunday, January 8.
He recalled as a young businessman at a Living Water prayer meeting hearing ‘My son, if you make your business my business, I will make my business your business.’ “I felt like everything inside me was churning,” the Archbishop said.
He explained that that epiphany, that shining forth of grace and light from God, set his life in a clearly different direction.
“When we encounter the living God, we can’t go back to our old ways and that’s why they [the three wise men] were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod and they travelled back by a different way,” the Archbishop said.
He added when the living God is encountered, insides are recalibrated, and the individual is set in motion in a brand-new way that God determines.
“And the other thing that must happen is that we have to let go of control. And the other thing that happens when we come to the epiphany in our life is that we have to recognise how big God is.” How big is your God, Archbishop Gordon questioned.
He observed faithful have managed to make a ‘chinky’ little God in our image and likeness as opposed to allowing God to be God.
“We’ve made a God who is a God of my people and not your people, a God who is a God of the poor and not the rich, a God of who is for this nation as opposed to that nation. And the Feast of the Epiphany makes us…stand in our boots and wonder how big is your God.”
The God of the scriptures, the Archbishop asserted, is big enough to hold all people in His heart: the good, the bad and the ugly.
He reminded faithful of Matthew 5:48, “ ‘But ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven in perfect’ and he goes on to say He allows His sun to
shine on the good and the bad alike and His rain to fall on the just and unjust alike. So that’s the good, that’s the bad and that’s the ugly,” Archbishop Gordon said.
Repeating the question ‘How big is your God?’, the Archbishop referred to the First Reading from Isaiah 60:1–6.
He underscored in the darkest hour of the history of Israel, the prophet sees that a light will shine one day in Israel, a light to illuminate the Gentiles, a light that no darkness could ever put out. “And that light we know is Jesus Christ,” the Archbishop said.
Referring to the three wise men, the Archbishop explained while they had expectations of what the star could represent, when they saw the revelation of the Child that was set before them, they fell to their knees and paid homage.
“They literally reorient their whole lives now of this One who has encountered them. And this shining forth of the light of Christ into their life would have dramatically changed everything. Because when you fall to your knees, and you do homage, you accept that this is your God.”
Archbishop Gordon highlighted the word homage is only used in Matthew’s gospel for worship of God. He then invited faithful to allow God to stretch their hearts wide enough to recognise how big He is, and that life is about serving Him and bending and bowing to His will.
He further called on faithful to not settle for less than the best. “Don’t settle for a ‘chinky’ little idea of God that you can control …When you come to the living God, and you encounter the living God …in ways that you may not want, but all I can tell you is it’s the most amazing adventure you can ever go on.”