The Epiphany of the Lord
The unifying phrase ‘they are us’ used by Jacinda Ardern, speaking about Muslim victims in the aftermath of the Christchurch killings, has become a message of solidarity for all. On this feast of Epiphany we learn from Matthew’s gospel, the important universal implication of an intimate reality. We discover that Jesus is born to bring light and life to more than his parents, his region or his nation. As St Paul writes to the Ephesians, "All are co-partners in the promise of Christ Jesus through the gospel."
How are we to enable Christ to be a light to the nations today?
‘We are probably wrong to expect the political leaders of the world to establish peace. Better to hope that full shalom will come when the four billion of us who believe in a Transcendent Other are converted more deeply to the enlightenment that call us all not to kill, not to lie, not to steal, not to lust, to respect parents, and to help the needy and weak. Jesus will be manifested as the light for the nations when we catch his fire more fully and share it. We have met the magi “and they are us.”
From ‘Have we met the magi?' Read the full article by Dennis Hamm SJ HERE
The biblical meaning of the word Epiphany is the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.
It is an important feast in the Christian calendar marking the liturgical zenith of the Advent-Christmas season.
The Magi in today’s Gospel who travel a great distance to pay homage to the Child, gain their wisdom from conversing with “star-beings” and trusting the message given in a dream, return to their homelands by ”another way.” This was their Epiphany. How might this relate to us today? Are we seeking "another way" that leads us closer to God?
Proclaiming the Word
First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
‘Nations shall walk by your light, and Kings by your shining radiance.’
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Lord every nation on earth, will adore you. Listen to an audio of this Psalm HERE
Second Reading: Ephesians 3: 2-3a, 5-6
… it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage. Alleluia, alleluia
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
‘Seeing the star, they rejoiced with very great joy, and going into the house they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and falling down they worshipped him.’ Matt: 2: 10,11
If this past Christmas marks the end of a dark year, Epiphany starts 2021 with light. Pope Francis’ latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, writes of “Dark Clouds over A Closed World.” He names the darkness: COVID-19, damaged economies, social distancing, climate catastrophes, political divisions, lost homes and evictions, deaths. Nonetheless, he invites us “to dialogue among all people of good will,” reminding us that all human beings are brothers and sisters, siblings in Christ. The Magi from afar travelled in darkness, but they saw the promise of light and acted with hope.
Epiphany calls us to keep our eyes on the light of Christ and to move confidently out of the darkness of 2020 into this new year. Jesus is our guiding star. God calls us to be the Magi of 2021. We have to keep our heads up, our eyes on the Light, trusting, staying on the Gospel roadmap as we keep going.
From The Catholic Climate Covenant in collaboration with the Integral Faith Team 2021
You might use some of the ideas shared in this reflection to help with composing the Prayer of the faithful.
'We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage. Alleluia, alleluia.'