Jan 7, 2018
An epiphany is a moment of startling clarity; a moment when the truth is suddenly and blindingly clear to us. An epiphany is the moment when we suddenly see the meaning of something that had been hidden, mysterious, or unclear to us just moments before.
This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, remembering magi – spiritual seekers – who had come to Bethlehem seeking the meaning of a mystery. They had seen a star rising in the east, a star which they believed portended the birth of a great king. They had travelled to Jerusalem, seeking “the newborn king of the Jews,” whom they believed would be a great leader to his people, and to the world.
They must have been surprised when they were sent from Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, to the small village of Bethlehem. They must have been even more surprised when they saw the bright star they had been following in front of them, and then shining brightly above the humble place where the Holy Family was staying.
But they must have had an extraordinary epiphany – a moment of startling clarity. They had been looking for a king, brought to a humble home in a humble city, and yet, they were overjoyed. These three men – rich, powerful, and wise – entered the humble house, prostrated themselves on the ground, gave honor and homage to Jesus, the son of a carpenter, and offered him the great gifts they had been carrying. They must have known that his Kingdom was something more than a kingdom of power in this world, that he represented something greater and more profound than worldly princes and rulers.
They were led by a light in the sky. And when they arrived, they had a moment of divine illumination, in which the Lord revealed to them that Christ was far more than what they had expected.