Let us Adore and Praise Him

Epiphany 
Beloved in the Lord Jesus, today we celebrate Epiphany.
We read today of these 3 Kings, or Magi. They had made a long journey, coming from the East; they were pagans, Gentiles – they did not follow or even know the teachings of Moses, or Abraham, or the Old Testament – nothing.
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Yet they were given, by means of a Star, a certain gift of Faith; and so they traveled a long way, to Bethlehem – for what purpose?
Well, it says what their purpose was; when they arrived they said: ‘We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.’ So their entire purpose in this journey, was to adore the Newborn Savior, to do him homage. And so this is our subject today, adoration.
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The life of modern man, we may say, has in many ways become distant from God, but thankfully, Jesus Christ still has faithful followers such as ourselves. We pray every day, we know this is critical to being a disciple – We pray upon rising, asking God’s help, and before bed. We pray for our family members, for the sick, for the world, the Pope, our bishop, the Church – many intentions, and our own needs and health as well.
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But I dare say that one thing we do not do enough of, is to adore the Lord, to extol him, to glorify Christ Jesus, and praise him. I think we are lacking in this, this spirit of adoration. But this is why the Magi traveled so very far, to adore Him.
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God has put into the heart of man a need to adore our Creator, the need to praise and worship God; the NEED – to adore. This is part of the natural need of a human being. And yet for us sinners, how can we not adore, this Jesus who has fastened all our sins to the cross with is own hands?
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In the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 5, there is that famous scene where Christ encounters the woman at the well. She is going to the well because she is thirsty for water, but Jesus is there because he is thirsty for hearts. He says to her: ‘God is seeking adorers, who will worship in spirit and in truth.’
God looks down from heaven, and looks for adorers, he is seeking for them. Jesus, present in our tabernacle, at Mass, in our chapel – is seeking adorers.
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Now there is no doubt that we adore the Lord Jesus, we praise him, in the prayers at Holy Mass; we adore the Lord implicitly in our devotions; and if we are doing our work for Christ, we are praising and adoring him even by the actions of life.
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But the Lord desires – and we need – to bring more into our life EXPLICIT expressions of adoration and praise, on our lips. These we call ‘Aspirations,’ which the saints made hundreds of times a day.
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Jesus is seeking adorers. It’s not as if he needs our worship, no – it is because WE need it.
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Let’s speak today of 3 reasons that we need to be, like the Magi, adorers of the Lord.
1. The first reason is that adoration of God helps me keep my perspective. We have problems in life, we worry, our problems seem sometimes insoluble. If we become consumed with our problem, it seems enormous.
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But notice, the more that we adore and praise God, the smaller our problem seems. Making aspirations, saying: ‘Lord, I praise you, I love you, I adore you. You are all-powerful, you have created the universe and the great planets and you made me and I exult you, I bless you, I glorify you! And you made heaven, that waits for me. Well…..
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If we remind ourself of the kind of Lord we have, our problem shrinks. Psalm 46: God is my refuge and my strength, he is an ever-present help in distress…. ‘Cease striving,’ he says, ‘and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.’
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So when our problems seem too big, glorify God: ‘You are the Lord, there is no other.’ Adore the Lord on our walk, in our car, and in the kitchen. Praise God on our lips, with our words, in whispers: ‘Lord, you are greater than my problem, you are greater than this disappointment.’ So that is reason number 1 to praise and adore the Lord, it helps me keep my perspective.
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2. The 2nd reason to adore and glorify God, is to maintain a spirit of gratitude. There are times when we forget who made us, how we got here; we are unhappy and ungrateful, because we did not get what we wanted for Christmas, or the job we sought; he did not ask me to marry him.
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But when we praise God, adore him, and bless him, for his mercy, for our life, for all that we are, there is a change that happens inside of us. The darkness turns to light.
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It is easy to fall into sadness and ingratitude, but if we praise God, we will enter his presence. The Holy Scriptures say: ‘Enter his gates with thanksgiving.’ Are we to enter the presence of God as an ungrateful curmudgeon? no, we are to enter his gates with thanksgiving. St. Paul says, ‘Give thanks in all circumstances, this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ – 1 Thess 5:18
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So we are adorers of the Lord because:
1. It helps us keep our problems in perspective.
2. It maintains in us a spirit of gratitude.
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The 3rd reason to adore, to extol the Lord, is that if we do, Jesus Christ will mobilize his army of angels to fight for us.
In case after case in the scriptures, we see that when the People of God worshipped and honored him, the Lord mobilized his army to fight for them. Against all odds, God’s people were victorious against the Midianites, the Philistines, the Amalekites, the Greeks, and so many others, because in praising and glorifying God – in trusting in Him rather than in their own power – the Lord would fight for them and they would succeed.
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Yes, those things were written about worldly battles and successes, but they are symbolic of spiritual and personal struggles.
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We see those simple Magi, who put their trust in Jesus, who came for one purpose: to adore him – the Lord protected them from Herod who had sought to kill them, and guided them to return by a safer route.
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Let us adore, and praise, and exult the Lord every day of our life. If we do, it will
1. Help us keep our perspective, so that our problems do not overwhelm us.
2. It will help us to maintain a spirit of gratitude.
3. The Lord will mobilize his army to assist us in our needs.
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May the Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for us every day, that on our lips will always be the praise and adoration of Our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of St. John of God]

 

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