The Epiphany of the Lord
January 3, 2021
Most people…whether or not they are “believers”…Christian and non-Christian alike…are at least familiar with the search of the Three Magi.
The search began in their homes…as they read ancient prophesies and studied the night skies. Then, having seen the sign they were waiting for, they left the comfort of what was familiar to them and embarked on a dangerous journey to parts unknown.
Over the centuries, as we hear, reflect on and pray with this beautiful last chapter of the Christmas story, we have come to understand that it describes a cosmic confrontation between good and evil.
The contrast between the three seekers and Herod is a reminder to us that, eventually, darkness is overpowered by light. Still, we must always remain vigilant because sin is stealthy and deceitful, always looking for opportunities to misguide and misdirect us.
Once these three mysterious figures encounter what they have been longing to find, they humble themselves. Kneeling before an infant in a manger, they are humbling themselves before an all-powerful God, who has humbled the Divine Self to the point of taking on an earthly body. Through this feast of the Epiphany, we are also reminded of the Christmas announcement of the angel…
I proclaim to you news of great joy that will be for…all…people!
Through these final events unfolding in the manger, the universal gift of the Christ child is reaffirmed. Jesus was sent for the salvation of the whole world.
There was an exchange of gifts. God gifted humankind with the Christ child. In return, humanity, through our three wise and courageous representatives, presented Jesus with gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh. We have grown to understand these gifts are symbolic of the Child’s royalty, divinity, and inevitable suffering and death.
So then, most are familiar with the story. Many understand the messages. The question that remains is whether we accept the challenges.
Are we willing to pay the tribute of our time, talent, and treasure to Christ our King? These are the gifts needed to ensure that the good news first announced in a shepherd’s field will continue to be broadcast to all people.
Will we accept the obligation to stand humbly before our good and loving God, offering our thanks and praise?
Can we accept our sufferings and even the reality of death, appreciating that Jesus willingly accepted suffering and death so that we might live in eternal light?
God has gifted us with salvation. It is only right and just that we gift God with our offerings of gold, incense, and myrrh.