Are We Seeking an Epiphany of the Christ?
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany. An epiphany is a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization. In the east the epiphany commemorates Jesus’ baptism, where Jesus was revealed as God’s beloved Son. In the west we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the non-Jews when the young Messiah is revealed as the light of the nations and adored by the Magi who have travelled from the East. In both cases we find our treasure in Christ.
We see in the Magi the first fruits of those who find this treasure whilst professing a different faith. Thus the Epiphany is an affirmation of universal salvation and a time for us to pray for those of other faiths to come to the fullness of Truth. This is also a good time to reflect on what we are seeking in life and, in exchange for this treasure, how generously we respond to Jesus who reveals God’s Truth in Person?
The story of the Magi is a story of a life changing encounter with the Christ child. They were wise because they were sought the happiness and fulfilment only given by God. On reflection, what are we seeking in our lives? Are we are prepared to abandon everything in the fulfilment of this quest? Are we prepared to abandon the sins that we sometimes give in to and indulge in? On the flip-side, are we determined to overcome vice and pursue a life of virtue? Are we prepared to pay the cost of discipleship in seeking the greatest treasure of all?
Another question is what are we prepared (figuratively) to lay at the feet of the Christ child? I think the greatest gifts we can give to Jesus are our will and our time. Perhaps we can make the resolution this year to offer our will to God in an ever more profound way. Saying to Jesus “your will be done not mine” is worth more to him than gold. Another precious gift is giving Jesus our time in prayer.
In summary, the Epiphany of the Lord was a life changing encounter with the Christ of God in exchange for humble gifts. It prompts us to ask ourselves if we are seeking this encounter at all cost: Are we seeking our own Epiphany? Second, this encounter prompts us to offer gifts such as saying an unreserved yes to God’s will and setting aside more time for prayer. Perhaps even God is asking certain sacrifices of us? Let me suggest that in these three gifts we imitate the Magi by offering the gold of a loving will, the frankincense of prayer, and the myrrh of sacrifice.