Originally delivered on January 3, 1988
Readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12
As we close our liturgical celebration of the Christmas season today, we are reminded to take what we have learned, and like the magi, spread the message to all people. How have we been welcoming to all with God’s love? How, at times, do we keep his message all to ourselves? We are encouraged to reach out to other people with whom we have not yet shared God’s message. As we heard in Matthew’s Gospel, we should “go home by a different route” spreading the news of God’s love. The message is for all – rich and poor, healthy and sick, US born and foreign. Do we ever keep God’s message just to ourselves so that it can benefit our own interests? When this homily was originally delivered in 1988, inequality among people was a crisis on the US political scene. The Kerner Commission brought some answers, but the simple answer – the inability to not share what was given to us all, was an answer seen by many as the cause behind the unrest. Do we ever “lock out” people we want part of our lives, people with whom we need to share our good news? How many of us feel marginalized? As Fr. Healy so eloquently points out, it is good news that Jesus came, but it is just as important that we recognize it as good news to be shared. The real good news from Jesus comes down to love, compassion and identifying with the oppressed. We must be open to embrace all God’s people.