Epiphany means “manifestation”

6 01 2019

Epiphany means “manifestation”. Today the Church celebrates our Lord’s manifestation to the whole world. He had already made himself known to the shepherds. Now he shows himself to the Magi, the first Gentiles to know him. The Epiphany is a proclamation of God’s will to save all mankind. Although the newborn Child is the Messiah promised to the Israelites, his redeeming mission extends to all people. He is the new Adam who, appearing in human flesh, has renewed us in the new light of his immortality.

The adoration of the Magi foreshadows the future coming of millions of souls of every race and tongue, called by God to adore Christ. Such is the full meaning of Isaiah’s prophecy: Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah addresses the holy city, which is a figure of the Church, the new Jerusalem, the light of all nations. Kings and peoples will come from all over the world, drawn by the brightness of its glory. The Church, as Mother and Teacher of every nation, welcomes them and presents them as a precious gift to Christ, her Spouse.

We know that all this began, says St Leo the Great, when a star led three Wise Men from a far country to come to know and adore the King of heaven and earth. The Magi’s obedience is held up to us as a model, so that we may also respond to the best of our abilities to this grace that draws all men to Christ.

Whoever lives a pious and chaste life in the Church, whoever savours the things that are above and not those of the earth, resembles, in some way, that heavenly light. By preserving in himself the splendour of a holy life, he shines like a star and shows many people the way leading to God.

Fortified by this zeal, dearly beloved, help one another to shine like the children of light in the Kingdom of God, which is to be reached through sincere faith and good works.


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