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My friend Jack asked me to fish with him one early evening. I always like to fish with my friend because he knows all the secret places. When I arrived it was dark. He first wanted to go to the yacht club where he is an associate member. Associate membership in a yacht club means a member who doesn’t own a boat. Why would anyone want to join a yacht club that didn’t own a boat? To have access to the boat docks. What is so important about the boat docks? At night they put on the lights. As you know, when you put on a porch light at night, lots of bugs draw near the light: mosquitoes, moths, June bugs, etc. The same thing happens when you turn a light on over the water at night. Clouds of shrimp and baitfish gather which of course means that big fish also draw near to feed. I never saw so many fish. We caught a lot. At one point, a yacht pulled up to the dock and the guy got out and said, “We were at it all day and never got a fish.” That is because all the fish were right here under the docks. Who needs a boat to catch big fish? So what is my point? That is what happens when you have isolated light; living things draw together in the light.
When we say Christ is the Light of the World it doesn’t mean that light fills the planet. It means that light is isolated in one location where all will gather to that light.
Here is a question. How many Magi are in Matthew’s gospel? You probably just sang “We Three Kings.” Perhaps you got a card with a picture of three kings mounted on camels. If you think the answer is three, then you better read your Bible again. Matthew tells us there were three gifts, but he doesn’t tell us the number of Magi. Let me put it this way. If they are carrying gold, frankincense, and myrrh—kingly and godly gifts—they better have an army to transport those riches half way across the continent. Three people are not going to make it. Picture this: King Herod is in his chamber and he hears a knock on his door. “What is it?” “Magi from the East are here to see you.” Herod looks out the window and sees fifty, maybe a hundred kings, princes, astrologers and the wise gathered from around the world at his door. That is what freighted Herod and the city of Jerusalem. Who is this kid that is drawing so many from all over the world? The child is the Light of the World. Isolated light.
We have a daily Mass at 12:10 pm, Monday through Friday. We usually have twenty to thirty people. September 11, 2001, was on a Tuesday. At the 12:10 had 167 people. What happened? That was a dark day and people gathered around to the isolated light.
The greatest archaeological discovery, period, was the Dead Sea Scrolls. They give us information about the world in which Jesus lived. Jewish aristocrats who belonged to a group called the covenanters owed libraries of scrolls. Before the Jewish war with the Romans, just after Jesus rose from the dead, these aristocrats went into a pottery store, bought jars and placed their scrolls in the jars. They went to the Jordan desert and hid the jars in caves, eleven of them. The plan was to recover them after the war. Apparently, they didn’t survive the war. Sometime in the 1940s two kids were goofing around and they crawled into one of the caves. They saw the pottery jar, pulled out the scrolls and brought them to an antique dealer to trade them in for some candy money. Kids! The antique dealer said to the boys, “These are pretty old scrolls, fellas, where did you get them?” That is how the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The two boys were not the first to find the scrolls. There were other caves. Others went into the caves, saw the pottery jars, dumped the scrolls out on the ground and took the jars. That is like throwing away the winning megabucks ticket and keeping the envelope. It was the two kids that saw the treasure. My thought is this. There is a lot of different lights in the world. We need to make sure we get it right. We do not want to be the one holding the empty envelope or owning an empty pottery jar. Christ is the “isolated” light that has come into the world and He draws us all to Himself as the wise who followed His star.Back to All Homilies