The Feast Of Epiphany Of The Lord
Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6; Matt. 2: 1-12
Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord, which marks the conclusion of the Christmas season. We are now transitioning to Ordinary Time.
The Gospel narrates the search of the Magi (wise men) in the hope of finding the newborn King of the Jews so that they may do him homage. They first went to Herod who was “greatly troubled” upon hearing the Magi inquiry. They encounter the chief priests and Scribes who seemed uninterested in the birth of Christ. The narrative invites us to reflect on our disposition towards the fulfilment of God’s promise especially in moments of darkness and opposition.
In the first reading, the exile Jews are returning to Jerusalem from Babylon to rebuild their nation and their way of life. Isaiah envisages all nations joining the movement to the light of God; thus, Jerusalem will be a light for all nations, a gathering place where all peoples of every land will be welcomed, a city of joy. The nations who used to be afraid of each other will follow the light and bring them together.
Second Reading: With the coming of Jesus, what used to be in the dark has come to light. The people that live in suspicion, in darkness are now living together – we are all to be received by God.
Gospel: After the poor simple Shepherds who were first to find their way to the manger, today the rich and educated wise men are guided by the star to the divine child. They offer gifts to the Lord: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
There are three different kinds of people in the gospel with their ways of relating to Jesus.
First group: – the travellers from the east. The wise men sought Jesus through hardships and long miles of desert journeying. The star led them through the darkness of uncertainty to the fulfilment of their deepest hope. It was this deep-rooted hope which inspired them to begin their adventure. They were willing to leave home, friends and family to find a greater and everlasting love.
Second group: The personality of Herod. He wanted to see Jesus but for a different reason. His intention was not to go and pay homage and offer gifts, but to destroy the infant King. His motives were hatred and Jealousy. He saw Jesus not as a saviour but a threat to his political authority. Jesus for him was not a king of peace but an obstacle which had to be removed from his political and social life.
Third group was made up of local citizens of Bethlehem. They refused the Holy family a place at the inn. They were not bothered about Mary’s pregnancy.
As we celebrate the feast of Epiphany, we want to pay homage to the many who are deeply dedicated to the cause of Jesus.
This year 2024, we are in search of the one super star. We carry our gifts of virtue and goodness, like gold to the king. They will be presented when we arrive. Also, we bring our myrrh of pain, sorrow, worries and troubles to Jesus. We offer the Frankincense, our prayers, which drift skywards through the day and night of life.
The Epiphany is about seeking and finding the God within us and around us.