To this coming Sunday, January 3, so that we may celebrate together, we have
transferred the Feast of the Epiphany, normally celebrated on January 6, the 12 th
day of Christmas.
As many of you know, “epiphany” means manifestation. We celebrate God
incarnate, the Word made flesh, made manifest to the Gentiles (i.e. to the rest of
the world, beyond the Jewish community), in the persons of the mysterious Magi
(wise men). The Magi come reading a star, indicating the birth of a king. Beyond
their astrology, however, we can perhaps say that they come because they have
been given a gift from Christ, before even seeing him: faith. They are given faith,
not because of privilege, but because they are seekers. God likes seekers. God
extends Himself to those who seek.
Faith enables us to discern mystery from above. With the eyes of the body, they
see a fragile infant. With the eyes of faith, they “see” God. Only faith can bridge
the apparent abyss between child and God. It is very much like our situation
regarding the Eucharist, or Communion. Only faith can bridge the apparent abyss
between bread and God. Thanks to faith, to the Magi Christ is made known.
Thanks to faith, to us—as with the disciples on the road to Emmaus who initially
do not recognize the risen Lord, Christ is “made known…in the breaking of the
bread” (Luke 24:35).
If this is true, then we ought, as the prophet Isaiah tells us (first reading: Isaiah
60:1-6), to “Arise, shine; for our light has come, and the glory of
the LORD has risen upon us.” Let us arise.
Yours in the Holy Child,