HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2015 has arrived and what Joy it brings. This weekend we have the joy of celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord. This feast commemorates the mysterious visit of the magi to the Baby Jesus. “Epiphany” means “manifestation.” It comes from Greek roots that mean “to show, to display” (phainein) and “on, to” (epi-). An epiphany is thus a time when something is shown, displayed, or manifested to an audience. Hence, in addition to the visit of the magi, we celebrate the Manifestation of the Divinity of the Christ Child.
What is the feast of the Epiphany about?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world. the great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.
In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation.
The magi's coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations.
Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.
The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”) [CCC 528].
At the beginning of the year, our Lord and Saviour has been made manifest to us. Let us redouble our efforts in the coming year to bring the Good News to all we meet. Though our efforts, may all come to know the manifestation of Jesus Christ in our world.
Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever!
Your servant in Christ,