Sunday, January 7, 2018

Epiphany: A Brief Rumination

     Time was, Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany, which our Eastern and Orthodox cousins call the Theophany, on January 6. However, as virtually every secular observance on the calendar except for Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day gets relocated for the sake of a three day weekend, I suppose I should take comfort that we celebrate any of our great feasts on their original dates.

     Epiphany is special for more than one reason. Saint Paul tells us that:

     It was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit that the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. [Ephesians 3:5-6]

     But we didn’t have to wait for him to say so. The three Magi of the Epiphany, three Persian Zoroastrians, had paid homage to the infant Jesus. Clearly, the significance and promise of His mission was not meant for the Jews alone.

     They recognized His kingship with a gift of gold.
     They recognized His priesthood with a gift of frankincense.
     They foreshadowed and honored His sacrifice with a gift of myrrh.
     They protected Him from Herod’s murderous intent by not returning to Jerusalem.

     Two thousand years later, we still thrill to their journey and their gestures of homage and fealty to the child Jesus.

     May God bless and keep you all.

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