The Feast of Epiphany


Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3: 2-3; 5-6
Matthew 2: 1-12


Arise Jerusalem shine out, for your light has come. The glory of the Lord is rising on you, thought night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples. It means that pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are part of the same body and that the same promise has been made to them, in Jesus Christ. 

Where is the infant king? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage. Sadly, instead of a new king to honour, a new baby to welcome, we have seen new, growing signs of division in the world.  The recent fallout from the Voice to parliament Referendum has not really united our country. Small mindedness and the refusal to accept that children of the original peoples of this land might be treated as equals of the children of later-comers.  We saw his star?  Herod did not want to see the sign of new life. The people of Ukraine might wonder if President Putin is heir to Herod. Along with the Israeli families who long to see the faces of their children snatched away as hostages, the people of Gaza look for hope among the rubble. The infant king found safety in Egypt. Maybe now we must look elsewhere.

“We saw his star” It was a common ancient belief that a new star appeared at the time of a new ruler’s birth. They were overjoyed at seeing the star. Newness can also unleash violence and fear. Our story begins with the announcing of new life, new hope and fresh fear.   Is there room in our minds, our hearts, our world to believe in newness?

Happy New Year! Are we really looking for a new sign, for a new star to lead us to the fulfilment of our hopes? If we do, we must be willing to be surprised, to expect the unexpected. But peace and the future are as vulnerable as the newborn king. We must dare to believe that the future can be different from the past.

So I ask myself and I invite you to ask yourself “Who will I take with me to welcome the new prince of peace? Will it be the simplicity of the shepherds? or the willingness of the wise men and wise women to see life differently? Ready to take a new road home, released from fear and shining with new trust and hope? Ready to look for the best in our fellow travellers? Or will I travel with the fear of Herod that his power will be taken away, so everything and everyone is suspect?

It is time to let the Glory of the Lord shine on us. May this new year be the best of years. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Fr. Kevin Dance CP is the vicar of the St.Brigid’s Retreat, Marrickville. He is very actively involved in ministries locally and at Passionist International where he served as the Executive Director for many years.