The Epiphany of the Lord

Three Wise men had a great desire to find the Messiah, but they didn’t know much about him. What they did know led them to Jerusalem and then they had to look for more information. They had this great desire but too little knowledge. The Wise men started to ask about the Messiah and caused great embarrassment among the people, especially king Herod.

Two thousand years later this history repeats in a different way. There are people who look for God – I hope we all are among them. But talking openly about our belief, asking openly religious questions, speaking openly about traditional moral values seems to embarrass many people around us. In some cases people lost their jobs because they expressed their Christian faith. It seems that hiding beliefs is the only publicly accepted way of being a religious person.

The Wise men asked their question and strangely they found out details about the Messiah from a person that nobody had expected: king Herod. He had had no interest in religious matters unless he felt endangered. He recognized the rumours about “the infant king of the Jews” as potentially a threat to his power. He wanted to find out as much as possible about the Messiah to eliminate him. What a paradox! The man who hadn’t shared the beliefs of his subjects became a person passing those beliefs to the foreigners! Eventually the Wise men found Jesus thanks to his enemy!

A few days ago I read a part of Richard Dawkins’ latest book. I found it very interesting and inspiring. Professor Dawkins is well-known as a person actively proving the idea that god is redundant. Some people think about him as an enemy of religious faith. But I personally think he does a very good job! Firstly, some of his biology theories seem to push science forward. Secondly, his opinions about religion force believers to revise their beliefs. Nothing better could happen! We need to re-think our essential religious questions and discover better answers to them. Religion without questions becomes indolent and fanatic. I am absolutely sure that God needs us as mindful believers, not fanatics.

In the second century a Greek philosopher Celsus wrote an anti-Christian book The True Word. The claims consisted in that work induced Origen, the Christian philosopher and theologian, to reply. As a result Origen wrote a book which helped people to understand Christianity better. Ironically, we only know large parts of Celsus’ work thanks to Origen, who reproduced it in his book. Celsus would be an unknown person without Christianity.

We should not be afraid to express our faith; mainly in our everyday decisions and moral questions. We should not be afraid if our belief is questioned; we need just to re-think how and in what we believe. The only threat to your faith might be your spiritual laziness.