The Epiphany of the Lord
Most of us are familiar with the show and tell opportunities provided for youngsters in school after a special holiday. These programs prepare young students for oral speaking as well as provide opportunities to express interest in a particular object. For many Christians, Epiphany is one of God’s show and tell occasions. Christ’s presence was first announced to the Jewish community, but with the arrival of the Magi from Midian, Ephah, and Sheba Gentiles, those not of the Jewish persuasion, were welcomed into the house of the Lord, so with one voice and open hearts believers of every culture, language, and background can join together in welcoming our Savior!
In our first reading Isaiah, who lived centuries before Christ’s coming, told of a “light” that was to come. The light would shine in the darkness, and kings would be guided by this light’s “shining radiance.” Remembering the brilliance of the star that guided the Magi, we can easily see the fulfillment of Isaiah’s words “the wealth of nations shall be brought…. caravans of camels…. bearing gold and frankincense…” Surely this was a show and tell of gigantic proportions.
Our Responsorial Psalm magnifies the scene of the adoration of the Magi as it proclaims, “Every nation on earth will adore you.” The verses of the psalm foretell the ministry of the child where we acknowledge, “He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lovers of the poor He shall save.”
But it’s in the second reading where many of us are mentioned for St. Paul writes, “…it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body…”, so the door of salvation is open to all who wish to enter. What a blessing!
The Gospel opens with the interaction between Herod and the Magi. Herod, so insecure in this position pretends to be concerned about the child, but his concern is purely based on his position which is certainly threatened by the arrival of a new king! The Magi, with eyes and ears attuned to signs, had arrived because of a star, saw, believed, listened, and heeded the warning to return home via a different route. Let us all imitate the early arrivals and “Come, let us adore Him.”
Sr. Miriam Catherine Nevins, OP