January 5, 2020 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

This week we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. And whenever we think of the word Epiphany, we think (rightly) of the three kings (how many of you are singing in your head at the moment, We three kings of orient are…?)

The three kings, however, are only part of the Christmas story, besides Jesus’ birth. The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or “to make known.” Thus, the feast of the Epiphany celebrates the many ways that Christ has made Himself known to the world, mainly the three events that manifested the mission and divinity of Christ: the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12), the Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11), and the Miracle at Cana (John 2:1-11).

Jesus, with His manifestations, is the King of Israel, the Messiah born to set His people free. Thus, we have the gift of Gold, a proper gift for a king. He is the High Priest of the New Covenant. Thus, we have the gift of Frankincense, a costly incense due only to God. And we have Myrrh, a gift for the Ministry of Jesus, which would be used at his burial.

If you truly want to understand how Jesus is manifested to the people of the earth, read the beginning of John’s Gospel, which sums up what this feast is all about:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be4through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.

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