The Epiphany of the Lord comes every year as a reminder to us that, we are also searching. We are constantly searching for the meaning of life and we want to know who we are, why we are here, why things happen the way they happen. Within the Greek mythologies, answers to these questions will be in reference to gods who sort to hurt or harm humanity.
While Epiphany means manifestation, it is the manifestation of God in his tender love and mercy, contrary to the Greeks mythology of harmful gods. He the Christ, appeared in human form, and in our human condition he manifested himself, yet he was divine. The Magi guided by the star met him in the form of a human and adored his divinity as well. Our God reveals himself as tender love, the God of all peoples on earth; men and women, every race and tongue. Like the Magi set on a long journey that might have entailed fatigue and other challenges, yet without giving up until they saw the tender love of God, to us Christians, is a journey towards our fulfillment; Christ the true King, the most divine. Our God manifests himself also as the true light that illumines our journey to him. Our faith in him is our guiding star that gives us light to keep the track of the journey. We are no longer people of darkness but of light that never dim says Francis in his Encyclical “Lumen Fidei” (The Light of Faith). Pope Francis sees the light of faith as a great gift that Jesus brings to us (1), and truly Jesus himself said: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness (Jn 12:46). In our Christian journey, therefore, faith illumines our steps towards Christ the true light of the world.
The Magi on their way to meet the Christ, they carried gifts which were not for themselves but for Christ. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These gifts are the embodiment of the meaning we search for in our lives. In them, we can acknowledge Jesus Christ as the highest gift of God to us that leads to the gift of salvation. In them, the love and generosity of God is manifested per excellent through Jesus Christ. We can also say that, the message of Epiphany is in the gifts that the kings bring: Gold- To celebrate the wealth of God’s creation, Frankincense- to celebrate God’s power in the world and Myrrh- to symbolize his approaching death. The three gifts are significantly embodied in our Christian journey of faith. We offer to the King and Lord, our hearts as gifts of gold which are ready to serve him and our neighbour. We offer our prayer, praise and sacrifice as our gifts of frankincense and our everyday challenges and sufferings as Myrrh.
And just as the kings do not come to be served but to serve, and to give their own possessions, their wealth, power and entire lives to the service of the presence of God in the world, let us also go forth to serve with mercy and love.
Joy and Peace