Some thoughts on Epiphany…
The word epiphany means manifestation–a revelation or disclosure of information about someone.
Yesterday was the Feast of the Epiphany. That of Jesus to the Magi, Wise men/Kings from the East. It’s the revelation of God-in-the-flesh to all the nations, to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi.
The Magi were astronomers, believed to be from Persia. They had little or no knowledge of the covenants God made to Abraham and Moses, but through the star—brighter than any star they had ever seen—GOD led them to Himself. And they found what–Who they were looking for. The Child is born for them too.
a star shall come forth out of Jacob,
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel
– Numbers 24:17
St. Matthew records that “when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy“. That’s a whole lot of joy! “And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.” (Matt. 2:10-11). Seeing him with his mother they fell down and worshiped him. That reminds me of the epiphany I had in Lourdes.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
the young camels of Mid’ian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
– Isaiah 60:3, 6
Another prophecy from Isaiah is fulfilled as we read “Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matt. 2:11)
- Gold symbolizing that He is king
- Incense because He is God
- myrrh (used as kind of an enbalming fluid for burial in those days) symbolizes his humanity and that He is to die
By their gifts they reveal Him as the Eternal King who would offer Himself up to die for us! The depths of God’s LOVE is revealed in the Child Jesus! On Epiphany, the Church celebrates that God has indeed revealed His plan of salvation in the Word made flesh–Jesus Christ Our God–to all the world..to us.
[It just hit me! An epiphany about Epiphany: God desires a relationship with every person!]
This is the climax of Christmas! Just thought I’d help get the Word out!
In choosing to be born for us, God chose to be known by us. He therefore reveals himself in this way, in order that this great sacrament of his love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding.
Today the Magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky.
Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.
Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.
So the Gentiles, who were the last, become the first: the faith of the Magi is the first fruits of the belief of the Gentiles.
– St Peter Chrysologus