Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

1/3/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

All human beings will find meaning in life by being open to God

"Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in you".  This Sunday's feast of the Epiphany reminds us to reflect on these memorable words of Saint Augustine.  The Three Kings of this Sunday's gospel narrative, their lives incomplete, unsatisfied despite their wealth, fame and power, came in search of the only one who can satisfy the deepest aspirations of the human heart.  They longed to find the very meaning of their existence.

The Feast of the Epiphany calls us to recognize the presence of the Lord and His Truth in our daily lives

The Feast of the Epiphany calls us to recognize the presence of the Lord and His Truth in our daily lives

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/3/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Epiphany, three kings, manifestation, Fr James Farfaglia, Happy Priest


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in you".  This Sunday's feast of the Epiphany reminds us to reflect on these memorable words of Saint Augustine. 

All human beings will find meaning in life by being open to God.  The Three Kings, whose coming we celebrate today, were not Jewish; they came from the Orient.  Some scholars believe that they began their travels together from Persia, while others believe that they came from three different regions of the Orient, one of them perhaps being China.

Obviously, the Magi were not part of the chosen people.  They were not Jews.  Instead they formed part of the vast populace extending throughout the known world at that time, designated by the Jews as pagans, or gentiles. 

The Three Kings of this Sunday's gospel narrative, their lives incomplete, unsatisfied despite their wealth, fame and power, came in search of the only one who can satisfy the deepest aspirations of the human heart.  They longed to find the very meaning of their existence.  

After a long and difficult search, they discovered the place where he lay.  They encountered the one who had come to redeem mankind and fulfill our intense longings.  Knowing him for who he is, the Messiah, the Magi have brought him the most appropriate gifts:  gold for a king, frankincense for a priest, and myrrh for a victim.  They recognize that he is Jesus the Christ, the only one through whom salvation can be found.

Because the Three Kings were open, they were given the gift of faith.  Through this gift they searched, they found, and they believed.      Actually, the word epiphany is from the Greek which means manifestation.  Jesus the Messiah reveals his divinity to the Three Kings. 

Certainly today, three of the most blinding obstacles we encounter in the search for meaning and truth are secularism, relativism and pride.  

Secularism only concerns itself with the here and now.  It has no use for matters regarding the existence of God, the immortality of soul, or the eternal destiny of man

The secularist passionately seeks human progress without any reference to the spiritual dimension of the human person.  The secularist is only concerned with this life and has no concern with religion.  In fact, the secularist attempts to experience human satisfaction through involvement in seemingly noble enterprises that are in essence missing the total picture of man's true needs. 

Secularism keeps us from searching for God; it keeps us from finding true meaning in life.  Historically, the Catholic Church has never had to deal with secularism until the arrival of our modern age.  Secularism and paganism are very different indeed.

The pagan believes in the transcendent.  The pagan has an understanding that there is an afterlife and that the soul is immortal.  The pagan also lives by a moral code that has its roots in divine law.  In contrast, for the secularist, there is no God, no eternal life, and morality is arbitrarily contrived without any reference to God. 

The mission of the Church in the secularist world is very difficult indeed simply because the pagan is much more open to truth and can be easily converted, whereas the secularist is usually as hard as a rock. Sometimes the secularist opens up to the true meaning of life through some terrible tragedy such as a dreadful sickness or even death itself.  However, many times the secularist is so closed off to the transcendent that no movement toward God is even possible.

Catholics need to be aware of secularism and not allow it to affect their lives.  However, many Catholics have been poisoned by this pervasive system of thought. 

It is unfortunate that often even in our liturgies, the transcendent has been replaced with the secular.  Many times liturgical practices, music and architecture no longer mirror the transcendent, but rather, they have been reduced to the common and ordinary.  Our liturgical life has become either a weekly boring exercise which has caused many Catholics to leave, or it has been converted into weekly pep-rallies.   Pope Benedict has recognized a need for the sacred to be discovered in the reformed liturgy of the Second Vatican Council.  This of course can be achieved, if we were to simply celebrate the Mass the way it is prescribed in the liturgical texts.

Regarding relativism, first we must understand that it differs from secularism.  The relativist often believes in God, an afterlife, and the immortality of the soul.  However, the relativist believes that the human person is the measure of truth.  What is true and what is not true is subject to mere human opinion. 

Catholics need to be aware of relativism as well, and not allow it to affect their lives.  However, it is also true that like secularism, many Catholics have been also poisoned by relativism.   The crisis that relativism has caused has particularly affected the way Catholics understand the moral teachings of the Church. Topics such as abortion, contraception, embryonic stem-cell research and homosexuality have become areas not only of controversy for some Catholics, but according to the news polls, most American Catholics openly defy and criticize the teachings of the Catholic Church on these basic aspects of moral teaching.  This is where the sin of pride comes in.

Pride is a terrible sin.  Pride says: non serviam; I will not serve; do not tell me what to do.  When a Catholic rejects certain aspects of Church teaching, a decision of the will has been made.  For example, it is very common today in America, that Catholics use contraception and do not attend Mass on Sundays.  It is very common that these same people do not go to confession or even mention these sins within the Sacrament of Confession.  It is also very common that these same people continue to receive Holy Communion. 

Within this dynamic, which is very common today, what happens is the following:  a decision to disobey is made.  The person continues to sin and continues to receive the Eucharist unworthily.  Eventually, that person's heart becomes hardened by sin and the person is no longer open to God.  The soul then dies and the person becomes like the walking dead. 

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.  They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother" (Matthew 2: 10-11). 

The journey of the Magi reminds us where the solution for secularism, relativism and pride may be found: the solution is Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.  

One way that we can easily free ourselves from the errors of our time is to engage upon a serious study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  The Catechism is one of the greatest legacies of John Paul II's pontificate.  Informing our mind and conscience with the truth of the Catholic Church will free us from unfounded opinions and will allow us to be more fully integrated with our Catholic faith.   True freedom can only be found in the truth. 

-----

Father James Farfaglia, the Happy Priest, is the pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Father has a hard hitting blog called Illegitimi non carborundum.  He has also published a book called Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life.  You can contact Father at fjficthus@gmail.comYou can click here for the audio podcast of this Sunday homily.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Living Faith

Papal visit to US not confirmed, but archbishop confident

Image of Pope Francis coming to Philly next September!

By Catholic News Agency (News Consortium)

Lets all Pray that Pope Francis comes to visit us here in the United States of America. Philadelphia, PA  (CNA/EWTN) - Reports that Pope Francis will travel to the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families in 2015 remain unconfirmed by the Vatican; however, ... continue reading


Catholic should be a way of life, not just a Sunday thing

Image of Catholic means universal. It's time to apply that to how we live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To know the way forward, we must look to the past. As the very first chapter Ecclesiastes tells us, "there is no new thing under the sun," meaning that everything we think of as new is actually old and whatever we can imagine has been imagined, and even tried by those ... continue reading


Let the Holy Spirit Teach us How to Become Prayer Watch

Image of St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Greece, telling them to pray without ceasing. (1 Th. 5:16-19) They did not live lives of ease, in any sense of the word. They had families, occupations, bills, and yes, difficulties and struggles beyond what many of us could imagine. They also suffered greatly for their faith. Yet, he instructed them to Pray without ceasing. Did he really mean it? I believe that he did.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he ... continue reading


Pope Francis meets, blesses Sudanese woman condemned to death for faith Watch

Image of Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy, but has since escaped her sentence and left Sudan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has met and blessed the Sudanese woman who was recently condemned to death for her faith. Meriam Ibrahim was condemned to death in Sudan for the crime of apostasy. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis has met and blessed Meriam Ibrahim at the ... continue reading


MIRACLE IN ENGLAND: God's face smiles over Norfolk, or is it Sean Connery or Karl Marx? Watch

Image of This image is suspected to show the face of God in clouds over Norfolk, however, it may also be the face of Karl Marx or Sean Connery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The English have long thought themselves special, and a new photograph from Norfolk in England may just prove that God does indeed smile on the English. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took an image that shows a face in ... continue reading


Pope Francis to visit Mafia stronghold this weekend Watch

Image of Pope Francis' stance against organized crime is seen as remarkable; the Mafia and the Catholic Church have previously been seen by many as having

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Incensed about the loss of innocent life in his immediate surroundings, Pope Francis plans to travel to the Mafia stronghold of Caserta, near Naples this weekend in an effort to set things right. The murder of three-year-old Nicola "Coco" Campolongo, a boy who ... continue reading


Pope expresses regret with exodus of Christians from Mosul Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his weekly Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya tax or leave. (CNA/EWTN News) - "They are persecuted; our brothers are ... continue reading


Your Catholic Voice Foundation delivers for Sisters of St. Joseph

Image of They're on their way, thanks to you.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An order for 350 Bibles for a Catholic school in Grenada has been shipped to the sisters free of international shipping charges, thanks to you, the readers of Catholic Online. The shipping charges stood at approximately $800, and was covered by donations. Now, Your ... continue reading


This is Ch__ch. What is missing?

Image of What's missing? You are!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What's missing from this church? You are! Are we mistaken? Show up and tell us you are already there and get your daily prayer and more for FREE as our thanks.Click here now to say you're there!Now you can share this question with your friends. Are they at church? continue reading


Unaccompanied migrant children need our help

Image of This is an image of immigrant children presently housed in conditions that would be unconstitutional for convicted felons. These children are without their families, alone and afraid and without control over their future, they are the victims of many culprits.

By Tony Magliano

Tens of thousands of children fleeing desperate conditions have entered the United States asking for help. And many more are coming. What kind of welcome is being offered to them? The answer to that question is still largely undetermined. According to Human Rights ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 13:1-11
1 Yahweh said this to me, 'Go and buy a linen ... Read More

Psalm, Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21
18 (You forget the Rock who fathered you, the God who ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:31-35
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2014 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter