Feast of the Epiphany
An epiphany is a sudden realization of something, an understanding usually connected with an experience. The word epiphany comes from the Greek meaning “to shine light upon, or, to make visible”. In liturgical language, the Epiphany is the revelation of God to us. It is God shining through our human experiences. This is a challenge because often we do not recognize this divine light. The feast of the Epiphany commemorates the revelation of Christ to all nations. It teaches that Christianity is universal not in the sense that all people must become Christian, but that Christianity expresses the truth of the whole of human experience. Epiphany is God shining through our humanity. The difference between the Christian faith and other faiths is not that we possess the truth of God and they do not, but that the light of divinity shines through God’s unique revelation in Jesus and can be seen and accepted by others. Representing wisdom, the magi or wise men of the gospel story come to Bethlehem to see the dawn of a new era. Like the Magi, having seen, we return to our homes “another way”, not as we came but changed by the experience.
Come Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.
Be alert to the epiphanies in your own life and open to be enriched by the ways in which people sincerely express their search for God.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”
Matthew 2: 1 -12
On the feast of the Epiphany, as we recall Jesus’ manifestation to humanity in the face of a Child, may we sense the Magi at our side, as wise companions on the way. Their example helps us to lift our gaze towards the star and to follow the great desires of our heart. They teach us not to be content with a life of mediocrity, of “playing it safe”, but to let ourselves be attracted always by what is good, true and beautiful… by God, who is all of this, and so much more! And they teach us not to be deceived by appearances, by what the world considers great, wise and powerful. We must not stop at that.
Epiphany not only ends Christmas, it also fulfills it by celebrating the revelation of the Christ to the whole world. The light of the Epiphany illuminates the church’s year as it illuminates the human race from whom the kings came.
Phyllis A. Tickle
Without the quest, there can be no epiphany.
Constantine E. Scaros
The experience of the magi reminds us that all who make the tedious journey to the truth will finally encounter it and be changed in the process. They can never go back to a ‘business as usual’ way of life. When we meet Christ and see who he really is, we will never be the same – and only then can we hope to begin to share in his mission.…
Rev. Thomas Rosica, CBS
Long after the angels disappear into the heavens, the shepherds return to their flocks, the magi journey home and the great star sets, Jesus remains.
Religion without epiphanies becomes digging in your heels; religion with epiphanies becomes living on your heels, ready to go wherever God manifests. One wonders if the three kings ever went back home at all. Home base had been taken from them.
Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.
Once again on this date we are reminded of the appalling sight of the US Capitol being attacked by angry hordes. It demonstrates the dangerous power of leadership. It clarifies how far we have been separated, how fragile our democracy is, and how easily we can be manipulated. And it has continued to be played out in a Congress of integrity sacrificed to ambition. It is sobering and it is frightening. On this same date which commemorates the revelation of Christ to all nations, may the memory of those depressing events finally move us, in truth and wisdom, to open our eyes and choose to end the destructive path threatening our existence as a democratic nation.