The Greek word Epiphany (επιφάνεια), means appearance or manifestation. In considering Epiphany we often focus on the symbolism of the gifts the Magi bore — gifts which said more about who they believed Christ to be than our more popularized notion of the gift being something we might “need or want.”
The early church recognized in this revelation to the Magi a sign that God was no longer just the God of the Jews, but that He was “Manifest to all the nations!” Jesus would show that in so many ways in His ministry: from the healing of the ten lepers (in which only one, a foreigner, would return to give thanks) to the woman at the well, etc. Since we have the benefit of the faith being passed on to us for nearly 2,000 years, we sometimes forget what a revelation and “manifestation” that was – God desires ALL peoples to come to him!” We must allow that reality to sink in afresh, as though it were the first time, to marvel in the unconditional love that God has for us, and the gift that God gives us, not so much out of our need or want, as much as to show us who we are – His beloved Sons and daughters. Let us always receive that gift by accepting and nurturing the faith as we receive the Sacraments.
As we attend Mass and pray as families, households or individuals, let us recall Jesus words and embrace the loving GIFT we celebrate, the invitation to be His Stewards and Disciples.
On this Epiphany, as we enter the last week of our celebration of Christmas, let us be ever aware that any gift we have given or received is meant to be a reflection, a “manifestation” of THE gift – A gift not found under any tree – The WORD made Flesh:
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” –Luke 10:23-24