for Sunday, January 6, 2013
The Solemnity of the Epiphany is a great mystery to celebrate. Epiphany
means some kind of manifestation. This solemnity celebrates the
manifestation of Jesus as God. When the shepherds see the Lord, that is a
manifestation. When the Magi come from the East, that is another
manifestation. The Gospel writers want us to know that Jesus, even as He is
born, is shown to the Jewish people and to the gentiles as the Savior.
The Prophet Isaiah tells us in the first reading today that the Savior will
come to the Jewish people and will be a light to all nations. This is
another manifestation, an Epiphany long before the time of Jesus. This is
the divine light shining through history and manifesting God's love and
mercy on His own Chosen People and on all peoples.
The Letter to the Ephesians, from which we heard in the second reading, is
also about this revelation of God to the Chosen People and then to all
gentiles. God comes for everyone, not just for a small group of people.
Everyone is invited to respond to Godís love and mercy.
The Gospel today is from Saint Matthew and tells the story of the Magi who
come from the East, seeking a newborn king of the Jews. This description
is very important because it tells us right way that Jesus is a king. Only
later do His own people expect Him to be a king like they are used to.
Jesus Himself tells us that His kingdom is not of this world.
Epiphany is a time for us to change our ideas about how God is present and how God acts in our world. No one expected God to come as a baby! No one expected God to come as a man. Jesus continues to surprise us by the ways He is present in our lives. He is present in the unexpected. He surprises us with His love. He breaks through the barrier between heaven and earth. We find Him in beauty but also in that which may be ugly yet hiding the incredible. We find Him in truth but sometimes also in the person passionately caught up in falsity. Our God is always surprising us.
The Epiphany challenges us to have our hearts and minds open to find God each day. If we look for Him, He will be found.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 60.1-6
Second Reading: Ephesians 3.2-3a, 5-6
Gospel: Matthew 2.1-12
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: