Blessed New Year to you all - This great feast of the Epiphany celebrates the “manifestation” of Jesus Christ as the Incarnate Son of God and savior of the world. Divine manifestation: The Epiphany takes its name from the Greek epiphaneia derives from the verb "to appear/reveal" and means "manifestation" or "appearance". All of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man.
The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the oldest Christian feasts, among both Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, the feast is known as Theophany—the revelation of God to man. The feast’s original date is January 6. (In most countries and dioceses, the celebration is transferred to the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. In Italy and other Mediterranean countries, Christians exchange gifts on Epiphany—the day on which the Wise Men brought their gifts to the Christ Child.
Epiphany originally celebrated four different events: the Nativity of Christ; the visitation of the Wise Men or Magi; the Baptism of the Lord; and Christ's first miracle, the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana; Each of these is a revelation of God to man: at the Nativity, the angels bear witness to Christ Incarnate in human nature, and the shepherds, representing the people of Israel, bow down before Him; and at the visitation of the Magi, Christ's divinity is revealed to the Gentiles—the other nations of the earth; at Christ's Baptism, the Holy Spirit descends and the voice of God the Father is heard, declaring that Jesus is His Son; at the wedding in Cana, the miracle reveals Christ's divinity.
The light of the star leading the Magi is a striking image and theme – Christ is manifest as light in the darkness of the world. We are guided as the Magi were guided – to the humble manifestation of the Son of God.
The journey of the Wise Men – the Magi reflects our journey – each of us called to follow the light … which we find as Christ, who is manifest to us in this great feast. How is Christ revealed to us? Through His Church, His sacraments, through His grace poured out into our hearts (St. Paul). We journey to him in prayer and in conforming our minds and hearts to his teaching and His will, journeying like the Wise Men in faith – through the darkness of this world, which only the light of faith reveals in its good and true meaning.
Pope Benedict reflected, “Faith’s inner pilgrimage towards God occurs above all in prayer. Saint Augustine once said that prayer is ultimately nothing more than the realization and radicalization of our yearning for God. Instead of “yearning”, we could also translate the word as “restlessness” and say that prayer would detach us from our false security, from our being enclosed within material and visible realities, and would give us a restlessness for God and thus an openness to and concern for one another.”
So our inner pilgrimage, following the light as the Magi did … leads us to discover the humility of the Son of God, who became one of us, who came “not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” The journey of the Magi required courage, to move forward in faith and darkness. As Isaiah prophesied of this inner journey in faith: “I will lead the blind on a way they do not know; by paths unknown I will guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them, and make crooked ways straight.” The Christ child now manifest, we respond by journeying in faith to find him, looking to Christ as our light, revealed to us through His Church – the Apostolic Tradition and the Gospels.
Not only do we follow Christ the light, now manifest to us, but Jesus calls us to be light – “you are the light of the world” (Mt. 5:14). This can only happen if we have the light of Christ within us, burning brightly. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn. 1:5) Let us rejoice in the Light revealed to the nations - Jesus Christ and as we journey in faith - bring his light into the darkness of the world.
Peace+ DDG :- ) \\