Feast of Epiphany
January 2, 2011
Isaiah 60: 1-6
Ephesians 3: 2-3A, 5-6
Matthew 2: 1-12
Traditionally, this Feast was celebrated on January 6. In recent years, with the changes in the Liturgical Calendar in the United States, it is celebrated on the near Sunday following Christmas.
Epiphany is that Feast that recalls the visit of the Magi or Wise Men to the newborn Messiah in Bethlehem. The word “Epiphany” itself means “a manifestation” or “showing.” Jesus is “showing or manifesting: Himself to three stately persons representing the Gentile or non-Jewish world. The English Benedictine and early-Church historian, Bede the Venerable, has recorded their names for us: Balthazar, Caspar, and Melchior.
The account in Saint Matthew’s Gospel, read at Mass today, tells us they have “come to pay him homage;” that is to say, they wish to acknowledge Him as their Lord and Sovereign. They have been given the Grace to know that He is God.
Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior bring with them three precious gifts: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
This special Feast teaches us that Christ has come to be the Savior of everyone, without exception. The three Kings were willing to endure many hardships associated with travel in order to pay homage to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Today, as we assist at Holy Mass and then pay a visit at the Crèche, let us thank Jesus, the newborn Son of God and the Son of Mary, for coming to be with us; for living among us and teaching us how to be truly good and truly happy.