Epiphanies!

The feast of the Epiphany is mostly associated with the Magi and the making known to the nations God’s glory.  But in just a few short minutes, as we proclaim the antiphon for the Magnificat, we will see that the Church has always celebrated the Epiphanies – plural; the constant manifestations of God’s glory that accompanied Christ’s time on earth.

(Magnificat Antiphon 2nd Vespers on the Solemnity of the Epiphany)
Three mysteries mark this holy day: today the star leads the Magi to the infant Christ; today water is changed into wine for the wedding feast; today Christ wills to be baptized by John in the river Jordan to bring us salvation.

With that in mind, the Solemnity of the Epiphany, for me, calls to mind the joy and the obligation that is Christ’s birth among us.

It is a joy: because the Lord, He who created the Universe, indeed created all that is visible and invisible, has come to me.  He has made Himself known – to me, to us.  His glory is for all to see.  God could have affected our salvation without showing Himself, He could have just willed it and it would have happened.  But He chose to make Himself known to us.  He revealed not only His plan but Himself!  This intimate relationship is a powerful help to me, it allows me to know and to react and participate with my God in a personal way.  I need that.  I need to be part of my journey; we all do. It is part of being human that we take an active role in our lives – anything less would be to not have freewill and that of course is impossible when Love Himself created us in His image.

The Solemnity of the Epiphany also calls to mind the obligation that is Christ’s birth.  We are called to be the continuing Epiphanies for the Lord.  The gift given to us with Christ’s Epiphanies is not to be held within us, it is to be shared.  God created us to watch over the rest of creation – to make known to the rest of His creation that He is among us.  We are to bear witness to that Love that we have been given. It is our duty as disciples to manifest God.

For these reasons I have always connected Psalm 8 with the Solemnity of the Epiphany – it defines for me what this day is all about.  It speaks not only of Christ’s relationship with His Father – but our calling as beloved adopted children to continue the mission.

Psalm 8

O LORD, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!

I will sing of your majesty above the heavens
with the mouths of babes and infants.
You have established a bulwark against your foes,
to silence enemy and avenger.

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place—
What is man that you are mindful of him,
and a son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him little less than a god,
crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
put all things at his feet:

All sheep and oxen,
even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!

Merry Christmas!

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