Feast of Ephiphany
“Epiphany” means “manifestation.” It comes from Greek roots that mean “to show, to display” (phainein) and “on, to” (epi-). An epiphany is thus a time when something is shown, displayed, or manifested to an audience. You often hear people say that they had an Epiphany. It could even be said that something finally dawned on them. Some would suggest it would take an Epiphany for the church to really see that message of Jesus and show that it is about building and maintaining community in being a light for others through justice, mercy and compassion.
In the image of the ‘Magi’ who were understood to be custodians of religious and philosophical knowledge, it is they who stand before us as representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions. Following the light and leading others – this, as we know, comes with courage, risk and open to the signs around us. Paul, the Apostle, saw the Gentiles, like the Magi taking up the message of Jesus and showing how to be a light for the world.
Therefore, in the celebration of the birth of Jesus as the dawning of the new light, the true sun, of history, the Gospel sees the first fruits of the nations who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. What is incredibly important is this moment. It is the foundation that creates and gives Hope. Why? Because the message is Emmanuel – “God with us”, what could be more reassuring. Now in faith, we walk in the light of Christ, following to be like him and open up pathways for others to come to Jesus.
This, of course, played into Herod’s paranoia for his throne and led to the slaughter of the innocents.
Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.