The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the epiphany on the first Sunday of every new year. It used to be celebrated every 6th of January as practiced in many countries around the world. In some religions and cultures, the celebration spans from Christmas to February, usually on the feast of our lady of candles locally known as candelaria which is February 2. In other places, the season starts from epiphany to Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of the Lenten season.

Whatever is the day of the celebration, the feast focuses on the three wise men coming from the East that had been prophesied in the Old Testament. It was the fulfillment of the prophesy where the three wise men journeyed from different places to pay homage to the King of the Jews. Guided by the star that hovered over the place where the child Jesus was born, the three wise men saw the child Jesus in the manger in that little town of Bethlehem. They offered homage to the Savior and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. .

The gifts symbolize the three aspects of Jesus Christ. Gold represents kingship, frankincense for worship and myrrh for death and mourning. Truly, the paschal mystery of had been foretold long before the birth of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the Word that was made flesh and became man to dwell among us. He was sent by the Father to save us from eternal damnation by offering His life on the cross. His resurrection was the ultimate victory of truth that He will rise from the dead.

In our time and generation, the call for us to pay homage and offer our life to God remains a continuing challenge in our daily life. The minimum requirement is for us to observe and respect the ten commandments that were revealed to Moses in Mount Sinai. The commandments were simplified by Jesus Christ into two, that is, to love God with all your heart and with all your mind and the second is for us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The practical aspect of our love for our neighbor was well explained in the gospel tale of the good Samaritan that attended to a man who was suffering injuries and lying on the side of the street. For a Samaritan attending to an injured Jew was uncharacteristic considering their differences in race and culture. But the Samaritan did not mind the social norm and culture as he showed mercy and compassion to what was considered a neighbor.

We are constantly faced with the challenge to live in faith by our life, always striving to give homage and offer to God through our neighbors as manifestation of our being wise.
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