“Those Magi, those kings are actually Chinese”
Sermon by Anthony Le to the Chinese community on The Epiphany of the Lord Mass

Do you know why I know for sure Adam and Eve were not Vietnamese? Because if they were, they would already have finished the snake! And those 3 kings must be Chinese. Well, let me prove it to you. First, they are from the East and China is from the East. Second, they offer Jesus three specific gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. You know I watched Chinese Kung-Fu movies, and I saw all of that. Kings got them all, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all the spices, all the beautiful stuff. So, I am certain those three kings were Chinese. Joking aside, ancient Chinese kings or emperors, Vietnam kings, or Roman emperors declared themselves sons of God, at least made it clear that they were sons of the Highest; and they demanded their people to worship them as such. They offered them gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Now, notice that in today’s Gospel, we celebrate the manifestation of our lord Jesus to all nations. We don’t know who they are, but we did know for sure that they don’t belong to God’s people. They were gentiles. They are people who know science. They followed their heart longing and searching for the truth; they were looking for truth. Nevertheless, their scientific experimentation can lead them only that far; the astronomers were following the movement of the stars. The scientist’s world can only reveal the mystery of the creation of life to some extent. We cannot completely understand the mystery of this created world. And they came to God’s people! God’s people understand and have the correct answer. They pinpoint exactly where Jesus will be born. At the end, they encountered Jesus. They worshiped him, and they offered him what mostly be offered to a king. Now, they declared Jesus their own King. Amazing, isn’t it?

This is a great lesson for you and me. What are the stars of today leading you and me? Whether it is from the east, Vietnam, or China, Taipei or everywhere. What has led you and I? The Faith. The Faith is the North Star that leads you and me here in this church today. We come to encounter God, we come with our gift. Not with gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but we worship him and offer him our very self. As of today, we should think of big things in placement of all those gifts.

First, instead of gold, let’s offer him a golden heart that knows how to love. When we come to him, let’s honor him with a golden heart that dares to love our brothers and sisters. Heart that dares to reach out to those who need it. Heart that dares to respect one another, respect the culture, respect those we do not even understand. That heart our Lord says, dare to love God, dare to love your neighbor, and dare to embrace the enemy. So, we do not have to be full of ourselves, but others and God; so that we could make this world a little bit more lovable.

The second thing we offer is our hands. These hands of ours. Let’s ask the good Lord to give us the strength that we can offer our hands, hands that build the community, hands that believe the forgiveness of sins. If someone has done anything against us, we acknowledge the pain that we have, and dare to untie the knots of that entanglement. Let’s see what our Lord has done, our Lord tells you and me, if we bring a gift to the altar, if we acknowledge that we have someone of our own, our brothers and sisters have something against us, we should go back, put the gift over there, go back and reconcile. Untie the knot, because if we keep that rage or don’t untie the knot, somebody has been held up by our anger and sin. Thus, we are no longer free, and we won’t let anyone else free either. And we won’t be able to receive God’s forgiveness. So, let’s offer these hands, hands that build our community, hands that break down the barriers, hands that release one another, from sin, from hatred, from anger, from our own house, our relationship, our family, and all that.

And the last thing, we offer our last gift, our feet. Our feet, not running away from hardship, not running away from the tasks of love, but running toward God, running toward those who need, running toward those who need our help. Our Lord Jesus, at the end, He said: One day we will appear before the judge, he does not ask you how many things that you have, how much money you have in the bank; He is going to ask you: How many poor people have you served? How many cups of water do you give away? How many people are naked, and you clothe them, How much love did we share? How many steps have you taken forward with those feet?

So, my brother and sisters, those are the three things: Golden heart, merciful hands, and quick feet, are our offerings to our amazing King. Action must be accompanied with words, and the words have to be accompanied by actions. Fascinating though, at the end of the Gospel, you knew just what happened. The magi, in their dream, were told not to go back to Herod (even Herod had given them a correct answer). That is a reminder for those who encountered Jesus. For those who are full of sincerity, giving gold,frankincense, myrrh, heart, hand and feet, they actually walk a new path. They don’t return to their old ways - full of lies, full of danger. They walk on a new path. That is the path of Christ. So, my brothers and sisters, let’s prove to the world that you and I had encountered Christ. We work with our church, we work at home, we work like new people, inspired by the love of Christ, and not afraid of sharing with others. The manifestation of Christ will continue thanks to our golden hearts. If our feet walk like Jesus, our hands serve and care like Jesus, our hearts fill others with love and affection, then, we are manifestations of Christ in the world. May God bless us all, and may God bless you, and I know for sure, those Magi, those kings are actually Chinese.





首先,我们要献给祂一颗爱的金心。三贤士的第一个礼物是黄金,我们要用一颗像黄金般的爱心来崇拜祂。一颗爱的心,勇于向需要的人伸出援手, 互相尊重,尊重文化,甚至尊重那些我们不了解的人的心。那就是主耶稣所说的那颗敢于爱天主,爱近人,甚至敢于拥抱敌人的心。我们谦卑自己,将自己充满了爱人,和爱主的心思,让世界更为可爱。

我们的第二个礼物是我们的双手。我们恳求仁慈的主赐给我们双手力量,来建立社区,并相信罪过的赦免。如果有人冒犯了你,伤害了你,你那双手仍然有力量来解开那愤怒的死结。主说,”你若在祭台前,要献你的礼物时,在那里想起你的弟兄有什么怨你的事,就把你的礼物留在那里,留在祭台前,先去与你的弟兄和好”。解开这个结吧,因为只要我们之间还有冤怒,拒绝打开这个结,愤怒和罪过就束缚了我们,众人都失去了自由。更可怕的是我们无法得到天主的的宽恕。所以让我们向主耶稣献出这双建立社区,清除障碍,将我们的家庭和关系从罪恶、仇恨、愤怒中释放出来的手作礼物。 最后一件礼物是我们的脚。这双脚不逃避苦难,接受爱的任务,奔向天主,奔向需要帮助的人。主说:有一天我们会站在判官的面前,祂不问你拥有多少东西,也不问你银行里有多少钱,他问你:你帮助过多少穷人?你送了多少杯水给口渴的人?你为多少赤身露体的人穿上衣裳?你分享了多少的爱?你用那双脚向前走了多少步?