Happy Epiphany Feast!
On this first Sunday of the New Year 2022 we come to celebrate The Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek word Epiphany (επεεεεεεε), means appearance or manifestation. First, the angels revealed Jesus to the shepherds. In the Western Church, the Feast of the Epiphany celebrates Jesus’ first manifestation to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi, while in the Eastern Church, the Feast commemorates the baptism of Christ, at which the Father and the Holy Spirit gave combined testimony to Jesus’ identity as Son of God. Later, in the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus revealed Himself in words as the promised Messiah, and at Cana Jesus revealed His Divinity by transforming water into wine. These multiple revelations are all suggested by the Feast of the Epiphany.
Today’s Gospel teaches us how Christ enriches those who bring Him their hearts. These pagan Magi were acceptable to God because they feared God and did what was right. Since the Magi came with humble joy in their hearts to visit the Christ Child, God allowed them to see wondrous things. At the same time, today’s Gospel hints at different reactions to the news of Jesus’ birth, foreshadowing Jesus’ passion and death, as well as the risen Jesus’ mandate to make disciples of all nations.
Like the Magi, let us offer Jesus our gifts on this feast of Epiphany and every day: The Gift of our life by offering it on the altar during the Holy Mass and by offering it to God every morning as soon as we get up, asking Him for the strengthening anointing of the Holy Spirit to do good and avoid evil during the course of the day. The Gift of relationship with God by talking to Him in personal and family prayers and listening to Him by reading the Holy Bible every day. The Gift of friendship with God by experiencing His presence in everyone we encounter, by offering Him our humble service, and by getting reconciled to God every night, asking His pardon and forgiveness for our sins and failures during the day.
Let us conclude with a 19th century English carol, Christina Rosetti’s “A Christmas Carol,”
“What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I could give a Lamb.
If I were a wise man, I could do my part.
What can I give Him? Give Him my heart!”
May God’s blessing fill your hearts in every day of this New Year 2020.
A Prayer for the New Year
Come, Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Risen Christ, be with us today and always. Be our Light, our Guide, and our Comforter. Be our Strength, our Courage, and our Sanctifier. May this new year be a time of deep spiritual growth for us, A time of welcoming your graces and gifts, A time for forgiving freely and unconditionally, A time for growing in virtue and goodness. Come, Holy Spirit, Be with us today and always. Amen.