January 2, 2016

Epiphany of the Lord


Two Responses to the Newborn King

There are two opposite responses to the news of the newborn king of the Jews.

The first response is that of Herod and the chief priests and scribes. The second is the response from Mary and the magi.

Herod is afraid of losing his power and control to the newborn king of the Jews. Because of this fear, Herod plots to remove the threat to his throne. The chief priests and the scribes later would have the same fear. Jesus became a challenge to their religious authority. And like Herod, they would plot to do away with Jesus.

Mary and the magi do not have much power and control. Mary was a simple young woman in a patriarchal society. She comes from a town of little significant. (We learn this about Nazareth in the responses various people gave about Jesus' background). Religiously, the magi were considered outsiders.

Unlike Herod, the chief priests and the scribes, Mary recognizes God's mercy and generosity in the gift of Jesus. She would praise God for having looked upon her lowliness. The magi acknowledge their ignorance and have the humility to ask for help and guidance. They rejoice when they are led to the little child. As a gesture of subordination, they prostrate themselves and does him homage.

No comments: