Father Joseph Kim gave the homily for the 9:30 Mass this Epiphany Sunday at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada. In the homily, Father Joe gave the story about the Montana family of three adult children who had buried their mother. It was time for the family to divide the property among themselves. The oldest daughter argued for the great grand piano sitting in the living room, while the only son argued for the grandfather clock in the study. The two argued for the rest of the property on the Montana ranch.
The son noted, the youngest daughter was not participating and asked why. The youngest daughter replied that she was only interested in a small chest on the fireplace mantle. The two older children went to see what was in this small chest. Inside they only found a broken piece of porcelain.
When their mother was only fifteen a young man applied for the job of ranch-hand. Their mother took a liking to him and when the ranch-hands came for dinner, she served him with the best china. Having a crush on him, while serving the meal, she dropped his plate. Being a kind man, he helped clean up the mess and put this fifteen year old at ease. Later, he repaired the plate. When he finished he had one piece extra, the piece in the small chest on the fireplace mantle. The young man fell in love with her and they later gave birth to the three children now dividing the property. The broken piece of porcelain represented far more than the material possessions. The shattered piece of porcelain represented the kindness that was in their father, and the marriage bond that gave them birth.
The gifts of the three wise men were the same. Gold represents the leadership of our Heavenly Father. The other two gifts, Lebanon and Myrrh, are two types of tree sap from the bushes of Somalia, which represent the Passion, and death of Jesus Christ. They also point to the Physical Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Father Joe asked Joe Bell to dim the lights to represent the darkened church of the Easter Vigil. In the Easter Vigil, the main candle processes into the church and all light their candles. Jesus feeds us from himself and we become the light of the world. By the way, we live our lives we represent our faith far more than any words we preach.
In reference to the Eucharist, Psalm 104 states, “You make the plants for people’s work to bring forth food from the earth, wine to gladden their hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread to sustain the human heart.”
St. Luke relates, “Then he/Jesus took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” As the piece of porcelain on the fireplace mantle, Jesus is broken for us, so that we might be like the father, our Heavenly Father, and the father in the story who works to repair our lives and help us to be the light of the world. As Father Joe related, John 3:17 states, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.’ Let us go out to be the wine to gladden the human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread to sustain the human heart.”