The Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany of the Lord


Ish 60:1-6, Eph. 3:2-3.5-6, Mt. 2:1-12. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany on the first Sunday of the New Year, we cannot but express gratitude to God for His gracious gift of life and for the opportunity to enjoy more of His goodness this year. This great Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord got its name from the word "Epiphaneia", which is compound of two Greek words επι (epi - “upon”) and φανια (phania - “shining”), thus it means “a shining upon” and it is sometimes translated as “manifestation” or “revelation.” It can be interpreted with the meaning of God having revealed and manifested Himself before the peoples of all the nations, coming to seek Him and worship Him. No longer is He just a King and Saviour for the Jewish people, as He has revealed before through His prophets in the past, but that all the nations and the peoples from those nations will come together seeking the Lord, worshiping and praising Him. This new light shining upon all nations reveals that Isaiah’s prophecy as contained in today's first reading had just come to pass that light shall arise from Israel attracting the wealth of nations, a multitude of camels from Midian, Ephah, Sheba.

There are five epiphanies in today's Gospel. The visitation of Gentile Magi implies that Jesus came not only for the Jewish nation but for the whole world. This is to debunk the stand that the Christian faith is not for Africans or that Christ is sent to only the tribes of Israel. Paul affirms this fact in today’s second reading. We are not strangers to the Christian faith, we are “fellow heirs, members of the same body and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus, the Gentiles are now co-heirs with the Jews. The star itself is another Epiphany as it reveals that Mary’s child is a King, indeed, the King of kings; a King whose coming among men cannot be ignored; a king whose very presence requires the necessary adoration and movement of all other kings. This was why Herod was greatly disturbed at the news of the birth of this particular king. On the other hand, the fact that the stars led the wise men to move from their homes reveals that nature tells us of the wonder of God the creator. The wise men were wise enough to understand that the star was not god to be worshiped but a voice that spoke of God. They never made the mistake of being deceived into all kinds of idol worship, palm reading, fortune telling and so on. Another revelation is observed when the wise men fell down in worship upon seeing the newborn King. They did not come to say ‘hello’, they worshiped the child as God. When the wise men found the child Jesus, they offered Him the precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Again this is another Epiphany; a revelation of the identity of Jesus as KING, PRIEST AND SAVIOUR of the world. He rules as King with gold, He sanctifies as a Priest with incense and as Saviour of mankind, Jesus’ body would be preserved with myrrh when He offers His life for our salvation. Let us, likewise, offer our precious gifts to the Lord in appreciation of His blessings. We may not have gold, but we can offer some of our precious wealth, talents and time for the service of the Lord and His Church. We may not have frankincense, but we can offer the Lord what it signifies, namely, prayer and worship. Let us, therefore, always worship Him in spirit and in truth.

May God Almighty help us continue to be enlightened by the Light of Christ, so that we shall shine the light upon others! Amen!! Good morning and happy Sunday!!!

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