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Going Off to a Party?

For we have seen His star and have come to worship Him
Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12

Sermon Week The Epiphany of the Lord Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 2:2

More than a hundred years ago, the Danish philosopher, social critic and religious author Soren Kierkegaard warned that the “Age of the crowd” was coming. In such an Age, said Kierkegaard, “people will no longer think of deciding for themselves.” Rather, “they will follow the advice given to children going off to a party: ‘Look and see what the others are doing and behave like them.’”

During the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, many of us, like children going off to a party, followed the crowd with a passion. We rushed to the “Black Friday” shopping mall sales and continued the buying frenzy on “Cyber Monday.” High-Tech was duly acknowledged by those who had placed smartphones, tablets and the latest gaming devices high on their Christmas lists. Everyone we met said "Merry Christmas," and we joined in the chorus. We followed each other through rituals and customs. And then, when the festive meal was over and all the presents were exchanged and opened, we dropped out one-by-one from sheer exhaustion. Sad to say, for many of us that was Christmas.

We are reminded of the stories arising out of the experiences of early Christian hermits in the deserts of Egypt. In one such story, a young man, aspiring to holiness, visits the hermitage of a pious old man who had lived in the desert for many years ...

The young man tells the old hermit why he has come, then asks, "Why is it, Abba, that some men come into the desert, pray zealously, and yet leave after a short time, while others, like yourself, remain on their spiritual journey for a lifetime?" The old man smiles and says, "Let me tell you a story. One day I was sitting here quietly in the sun with my dog. Suddenly, a large rabbit ran past us. My dog immediately jumped up, barking loudly, and gave chase to the rabbit. He chased the rabbit over the sand dunes with a passion. Soon, other dogs were attracted by his barking and joined him. What a sight it was as that pack of [...]

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