January 6, 2013 – Epiphany of the Lord

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This Sunday we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord.  This Feast, usually celebrated on January 6th, commemorates the manifestation of the glory of Christ that was shown upon the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi, the Three Kings.  He had come so that ALL may have life to the fullest.

When I was growing up I remember feeling so very lucky because not only did I receive presents on Christmas, but I also received three more gifts a little more than a week later on the Feast of the Epiphany.  In most Latin American countries gifts were exchanged on this day, also known as Three Kings Day, in remembrance of the three Magi bringing the infant Jesus their gifts. Being a Latino family my parents, wanting to keep their traditions without denying us a traditional American celebration, honored both – lucky kids indeed.

The word “epiphany” is from the Greek, meaning a showing, a revealing.  My parents, it could be said, showed or revealed their love for my sister and me by giving us gifts and teaching us our faith traditions.  However, the best and unequaled gift is the revelation of God’s love for us by becoming one of us for our salvation, each and every one of us. Sunday’s feast shows us two vital aspects of our faith: the presence of the Son of God is revealed, and God’s desire to save all peoples is made clear. Not lucky but how blessed indeed we all are to receive this supreme gift.

How are we allowing this gift to manifest itself in our lives and through us, in the lives of others? Are we living our baptismal promises to be His disciples, His evangelizers, by sharing the gift of the Gospel?  Each one of us is called to live fully in and for Christ, to be His missionary!

In today’s first reading Isaiah, a prophet, encourages the people to stand up and welcome a new day. He speaks of the light that has come and “the glory of Lord that shines upon us.” This light shining through the darkness and the clouds is a wonderful image describing what the Epiphany of the Lord is about and what it proclaims. Are we sharing this glorious light?

In the second reading Paul refers to the great mystery of God revealed to him, namely that God desires to save everyone.  Are we doing our part in sharing the Good News of the hope that saves?

The Gospel of today tells us about the wise men from the East who followed a star in search of the newborn king of the Jews.  Are we still following the right star?  Or are we distracted by the glitter of other, more worldly, things?

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