THE FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
”For by Gold the power of a King is signified, by Frankincense the honor of God,
Epiphany, from the Greek root “Epiphania,” means "appearance" or "manifestation," or better still, "revelation." This scenario can be likened to an “outdooring” or christening of a new baby in a family.
But in the case of Jesus, his epiphany outdoors two most important mysteries about him as a person. These include the revelation of his divinity (identity) and his purpose (mission) here on earth.
As the son of God, he manifests his incarnation into human flesh and blood. His goal is to save mankind from the servitude of sin. In effect, his destiny is made known and clear to the world.
This manifestation was foreshadowed by the Angels to the shepherds, by the Magi to the Gentile world, commemorated at the river Jordan during his baptism with the Trinitarian confirmation, and finally he revealed himself as the Messiah at the wedding feast at Cana.
The first reading from the prophecy of Isaiah had already predicted the appearance of the star personified in the Messiah. So Isaiah said, ”Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.” Is.60:1-2.
He continues that the proof of this is in the presentation of gold, frankincense and the proclamation of the praises of the Lord. Indeed, this prophecy is fulfilled in the person of Jesus.
As Christians, our faith and trust in him should grow even stronger because he is the glory of the Lord that appears like the star that brightens to dispel the darkness of the sins in our lives.
In a sequel to this, Apostle Paul in our second reading affirms that the secrets of the divine plan has been unraveled to mankind. He said, ”Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Eph. 3:5-6.
This shows the universality of salvation and the redemption of Jesus to the world. That is why the Psalmist would say, ”Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” Ps. 72:11
Finally, the gospel reading brings into focus the reality of the aforementioned. The Magi followed the star to locate the presence of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem and subsequently gifted him the most valuable presents to prove his identity and mission: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
This gesture can be deduced into three lessons to enrich our faith:
1. Let us always be like the star that gave accurate direction to the Magi to locate Jesus. As we have entered into a new year we need to choose a better way of life, abstaining from proud and impure thoughts, evil habits and selfish behaviors.
2. If God permitted Magi - foreigners and pagans- to recognize and give Jesus the respect as the King of Jews, it manifests that there is nothing in our sinful lives that will keep God from bringing us to Jesus.
3. Let us always be like the star leading others to Jesus by removing the darkness of evil around us and radiating Jesus’ live through selfless services, unconditional forgiveness and compassionate care.
My dear one in Christ, remember to worship Him with the gold of your love, the myrrh of your humility and the frankincense of your adoration.
May the Epiphany of the Lord increase our faith!
Stay blessed! Be careful on the road.
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.