January 9, 2024 // Bishop

Bishop Celebrates Epiphany at St. Matthew Cathedral

On the solemnity of Epiphany, a day in which the Church remembers the Magi’s visit to the infant Jesus, Bishop Rhoades celebrated Mass at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend. During his homily at the 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday, January 7, Bishop Rhoades spoke about the celebration of the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles and how it relates to our own spiritual journey.

Photos by Michelle McDaniel
Three children dressed as Magi carry the gifts to Bishop Rhoades during Mass on the solemnity of Epiphany, Sunday, January 7, at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend.

He began his homily with the story of the three wisemen and their journey – how they left their homes far in the East and searched for the newborn king of the Jews. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they naturally sought out the palace, assuming the new king must have been born there. Of course, they found him instead in the manger.

With the church decorated for the Christmas season, Bishop Rhoades delivers his homily during Mass on Epiphany Sunday, January 7, at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend.

“Our life is a journey – a journey to see and worship our King, a journey to His kingdom of justice and peace, of truth and love,” Bishop Rhoades said. “It is a journey to the new Jerusalem, where He reigns in glory, in the house of the Father, where He has prepared a place for us.”

Bishop Rhoades compared our journey to theirs in terms of the many hardships and sacrifices each of us faces, as well as the temptation to give up.

“But there is a star to guide us, like there was a star that guided the Magi,” he said. “The star that guides us in our journey is the word of God, the Gospel.”

Bishop Rhoades implored the congregation to keep seeking the Lord and following that star. He reminded listeners that while we all seek out meaning in our lives, the devil tempts us to find that meaning in self-centered pleasures that are not Christ.

In the Magi’s journey, they experienced similar lies and deception through King Herold. Like the wisemen, we must turn away from these lies and keep seeking the Lord, guided by his star.

“[The Magi] experienced authentic and deep joy when they followed God’s star and went into the house and saw the Child with Mary, his mother,” Bishop Rhoades said. “They experienced awe, wonder, comfort, and joy before the mystery of God, who had lowered himself to take on our human condition and offer us sinners salvation.”

He encouraged people to take up this holy journey as a new resolution in 2024.

“I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution for all of us than this: to seek to grow in holiness in 2024.”

He ended his homily by reminding the congregation of the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah at the beginning of the first reading: “Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come; the glory of the Lord shines upon you.”

“The Church, like Jerusalem of old, is called to be the city of light, which reflects God’s light to the world and helps humanity to walk in His ways,” Bishop Rhoades said. “This is what we as disciples must do by living in the way of the Beatitudes, attracting others to God and the beauty of His Kingdom through our witness of love.”

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