Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Lectionary: 20 (NAB Translation) (Jerusalem Bible Translation)
Merry Christmas! It’s been a beautiful season of Christmas so far. Now we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord a few days early from the traditional date on the 6th.
In this week’s first reading from Isaiah, we see beautiful imagery of the use of light. On Christmas Day we heard how “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light,” and now we hear a command to rise up in splendor. At this time, the people were in deep need of some hope. For so long, the people of God had been in captivity, and now they returned home to a depressing sight of their homeland in desperate need of rebuilding. After longing to be home for so long, it was difficult to come home and still feel hopeful. Isaiah brings out strong imagery of a story of conversion that will extend even to pagans.
Epiphany can be seen as the great moment of understanding/revelation. Light is important to see the truth, lies are what hide in the shadows.
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
R/ (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Ephesians 3:2-3A, 5-6
This week’s second reading from the letter to the Ephesians is short, but it packs a strong message to the people of that time. Even Christian converts were convinced that the Jews were God’s chosen people. St Paul reveals that God’s favor has been upon the Jews in the past, but the ministry of Jesus came to offer favor and salvation even to those that were not Jews. Through the power of the Gospel, God’s mercy extends His adoption to everyone that is willing to accept it.
This week’s Gospel from St Matthew is the keystone of today’s celebration. The Magi from the East have to travel long distances for possibly years to see the Lord that was shown to them in the stars. When the paranoid King Herod hears of this news, he plots a way to get them to help him find this child King. When the wise men personally encounter God Incarnate, they experience a deep conversion that demands a change in their lives. Things cannot stay the same, and they have to “return another way.”
Whenever we have a deep and personal encounter with Jesus, it should move us in a similar way that convicts us to change our hearts and lives. Jesus Christ is Lord, and I pray that you too may open your heart to that great encounter and realization again this day. This Year of Mercy is another opportunity to turn around from the judgment and anger we have held on to in our lives, Jesus is calling us to return another way.
Gospel meditation by Bishop Vásquez
The star guided the Magi to seek the “newborn king of the Jews.” Who serves as the light of God in my life? How does my life serve as a light of God leading others to find and encounter Christ?
Theme song – Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc
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