January 6, The Epiphany of The Lord
The Epiphany of the Lord
Behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”….They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet …. After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 5 and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. Mt 2,1-12
“Epiphany” is a greek word which means manifestation, revelation. In fact, this feast celebrates the greatest revelation, after the one that Jesus is the Son of God, and God himself: it is for everyone. He has left himself to be contemplated by the poor shepherds who went to the stable of Bethlehem, he has left himself to the worship of the rich and of wise as the Magi, he manifested himself to the Jews who have been waiting since the call of Abraham and to the gentiles who did not had any advanced new. And he will continue to manifest himself as God to the slaves and to the masters, to the whites and to the blacks. Although this great truth has been revealed by the mysterious star which led the Magi to the stable of Bethlehem, at the beginning of the Church the Holy Spirit had to show it again to Peter, Paul and to the other apostles. Jesus Christ is God of the Jews, of the Arabs, of the Indians, of the Chinese and of the African tribes, even though most of them still do not know or do not believe it: but the Church was established precisely to announce this amazing truth everywhere. The ecumenical encounters are an excellent opportunity to proclaim the gospel to the other religions; it is not enough the search for the common truths, as a basis to understand each other, as if we were looking for a super-religion shared by all, as some try to do. The only thing which we need to have clear is that we must proclaim the good new that Jesus Christ died and resurrected also for them to the Jews, to the Arabs, to the Indians and to the Chinese, as did Paul in the Areopagus of Athens. It does not matter if few of them believed in it, few who believe are better than many who are more tepid. If the Magi, when they arrived in Bethlehem, would have met the shepherds, they would have come out from that stable by praising God with them, because when we met the Lord no longer the origin, the social class and the past have sense: we are all brothers in Christ and that’s it. Significantly, however, is that to get to Bethlehem, the Magi have received the necessary information at Jerusalem. It does not matter if those who have informed them did not go to Bethehem – to be informed does not mean to believe – though the information was in Jerusalem. Since then, the new Jerusalem is the Church, which contains the information necessary to come to Jesus Christ, because he lives there.