ILizwi Biblical Centre is our educational institute for integral Biblical formation through modern means of social communication.
Our aim is to promote greater literacy, deeper understanding, generate a greater interest, love and use of the Scriptures.
- Facilitating Bible seminars, workshops and courses for parishes, associations,
religious congregations, lectors, leaders of Sunday services, funeral ministers.
- Designing, publishing and printing of books, booklets, brochures, invitation cards,
ordination or final profession souvenirs.
- Offering conference and accomodation facilities with wifi and catering to groups up to 50 people.
- Sending Biblical teachings on liturgical Sunday readings every week via whatsapp.
THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
Isaiah 60: 1-6
Psalm 72:-12,7-8, 10-13
Ephesians 3: 2-3a. 5-6
Matthew 2: 1-12
FOLLOW YOUR GUIDING STAR, YOUR GPS;
“We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him” – Mt 2:2
Let’s start with something funny.
Just imagine if the 3 Wiseman were 3 Wisewomen?
1 They would have arrived in time.
2 Asked for directions.
3 Helped deliver the baby.
4 Cleaned the stable.
5 Brought practical gifts.
But as they are going back to their homes…
1 Is that a place to give birth
2 Did you look closely at the child? The child doesn’t look like Joseph at all
3 I heard Joseph doesn’t work, what will they eat
4 Did you see Mary’s sandals? I tell you life is difficult
An epiphany is an appearance. Epiphany means the manifestation of Christ to the world. This feast began in Africa, in Egypt where it replaced a pagan feast that celebrated the victory of light over darkness. In the Ethiopian calendar this is their New Year day.
After Jesus’ birth, two groups of people visit the infant baby – the shepherds and the Magi. However, in the Church we don’t have a feast to remember the visit of the shepherds but only of the Magi. Why?
I think it’s because the shepherds got a direct revelation from angels that the child is born and because of the overwhelming sight of the glory of angels they easily went to see the baby.
However, for the Magi they saw a star. Just a star. A star didn’t say anything to them. They had to interpret the sign to know what it meant and where it led. Their revelation was indirect and this makes them more closer to our experiences.
God tends to manifest himself to us through ordinary means and we struggle with the interpretation of God’s signs before us. He ordinarily doesn’t directly tell us wed A or B, your vocation is C, 2016 will bring … to you, but he puts signs – stars.
The Magi were astrologists, scientists who were capable of interpreting dreams and foretelling the future by looking at the stars and observing the flight of birds. They believed that each human being had a star - “we saw his star” – Mt 2:2.
The Magi were pagans who did not know the true God, but God used their profession, knowledge, resources to help them find him. In the same way, God reveals his will to you daily and wants u to employ your gifts, talents, profession to discern this will.
However, natural means are not enough. The Gospel says that when the guiding star got to Jerusalem its light faded and the Magi had to consult the priests and scribes who opened the Scriptures to direct them to Bethlehem.
Over and above our natural light of reason (star) you still need the supernatural light of the Bible to finally get to Jesus, to discern God’s will in your life.
Ironically, the scribes knew the scriptures but ignored this revelation. To them the Scriptures are dead letters on ancient pages. How sad it is that you who has the Scriptures and hear Sunday homilies drift away from the light!
The Magi – Caspar, Melchoir and Balthasar – where searching “where is the baby?” (Mt 2:2). We all have our own quests, our own journeys that we are making in this thick darkness (Is 60:2) – searching for happiness, employment, a spouse, peace... Today’s feast is about your journey. The star of Bethlehem was their GPS system guiding them. What is your GPS?
In 1200BC, Balaam the diviner and wizard (speaking donkey) prophesized “I see him … a star from Jacob …” (Num 24:17,19). Our first reading said that when the light of the Lord shine on Jerusalem, all peoples would start moving towards it bringing gifts (Is 60:3).
Jesus is the light that illumines all people. Jesus is your guiding star, your GPS. The Magi stand for the people who let themselves be guided by Jesus, the true star. “I am the way, the truth, and the life”(Jn 14:6).
POINTS OF INTEREST
1. People in the Gospel saw the STAR 🌟 and reacted in different ways.
MAGI – fall to their knees (v.11).
SCRIBES – have knowledge but are indifferent.
HEROD – tries to put off the light.
Which of these 3 are you?
In fact, all creatures when they see the light they move towards it. Observe insects. However, it is only human beings who can choose to move away from the light. May you in 2016 be better than insects and move towards the light.
2. The star could not shine bright when it was on top of Herod’s house! In 2016 lets note that our way of life, our choices, attitudes, and sins may cause the light of Christ not to shine for others. May others see the star when they enter your home/community.
3. After encountering Jesus the Magi use a different road/route (v.12). No one after meeting Jesus goes back to his/her old ways. May you find a different route to take in 2016. You ways in 2015 led to darkness and sorrow. Now just change the road!
Prayer: Shed your light upon our hearts that through our choices and actions in 2016 we may pass through the shadows of this world and reach the brightness of our eternal home. Lead us to find that which we are seeking for, fulfill our hearts deepest desires oh Lord.
Encouragement: Some may walk, others may run but Remember the Lord gave the tortoise and the horse the same days to reach the Ark of Noah. Your 2016 journey might be rough and tough but you will definitely get to your destination. Just follow your star. May this Year of Mercy outpour on you an overtaking anointing to go through the year.
Support this Projectby your
Pray for the missionaries and their efforts. Your spiritual support is the most important one. The work of missionaries is being blessed and the hearts of people are opening for the Gospel, as you pray:
you sent your Son Jesus Christ
to the mission of redeeming the world.
Many still have not heard his message
of faith, hope, and love.
Bless the efforts of your missionaries
and let the light of your Gospel
shine in the world.
Bless the ILizwi Centre Project
so that through the missionary work
in the power of the Holy Spirit
it may bear fruit of salvation
to the people of Zimbabwe.
Encourage ILizwi Centre Project with words of faith. Missionary work is difficult and missionaries may often feel discouraged. If you believe that their effort is valuable and you appreciate what they do, you should tell them. A few honest words may help a lot.
Donate to ILizwi Centre Project to increase its efficiency.
Currently we would appreciate donations for travelling and better printed materials for our courses.
You can give your donation in person to ILizwi Centre Project or through an SVD mission secretary in your country or through any SVD missionary you know.
If you wish to make your donation in person but you don't know any of us or you don't know where to find us, just ask...
For a transfer from Zimbabwe in Zimbabwean currency use our local account, please:
AOB Divine Word Missionaries
40 Chepstow Rd, Riverside, Bulawayo
230 710 739 04
First Capital Bank
JMN Nkomo Street / 8th Avenue, P.O.Box 702, Bulawayo
Or send Ecocash to our number:
For a local or international transfer in United States Dollars, use this our account, please:
Archdiocese of Bulawayo Divine Word
914 000 529 4370
Archdiocese of Bulawayo, 9th Avenue / Lobengula St, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Stanbic Bank of Zimbabwe
59 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Standard Bank of South Africa
Correspondent Bank Swift Code:
Correspondent Bank Account Number:
090 861 930
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