The Epiphany of the Lord

Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, January 7, 2018

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHIRST

The word “Epiphany” means “manifestation or appearance.” The Feast of the Epiphany explains that Jesus is manifested as King by the visit of the magi or wise men. They came to pay respect to Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. According to biblical scholars, these men were apparently Gentiles or pagans who came from Persia or Babylonia and who were prompted by the appearance of a star to seek and worship Jesus. In fact, these scholars likewise claim that their number might even be more than three.

But putting aside what history could really tell us or not, the most significant thing to learn on this Feast of the Epiphany is its significance to our spiritual life. The inclusion of the persons of the magi in the story of Jesus’ birth teaches, above all, that He came to the world to be a King and Savior for all people. This is in direct contrast to Jewish belief that they were the only chosen ones and that pagans or Gentiles do not merit from the birth of Jesus and the salvation He will gain by dying on the cross. The visit of the magi manifests to the whole world that Jesus’ birth is a grace shared by all. He came to live and die for all mankind.

However, just as there were those who embraced and welcomed Jesus into the world and believed and worshipped Him, there were also those who rejected His presence and refused to believe in Him. King Herod is an example and so with the indifferent Jewish clergy during Jesus’ time who had all the answers but do not have interest to seek Him.

With this truth, the simple message of the Feast of the Epiphany then, is that, while the door to salvation is open for all, it is still our choice to enter that door or not. Jesus’ presence is encompassing. He came for all. He died for all. But it is still our lot to embrace Him. It is still our responsibility to believe and live according to His ways. It is still our call to recognize Him as our King and Savior.

God Bless! Fr. Elmer