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Epiphany and the Catholic Catechism

Epiphany

 

 

Today the Holy Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Epiphany. This is the feast that celebrates the manifestation of Christ the divine to the Gentiles who are represented by the wise men. This feast normally brings the Christmas season to a close.

In our first reading taken from the book of Isaiah, chapter 60, the prophet says to us to arise for the light has come! The glory of the Lord has risen upon you. As Catholics and as Christians, we indeed know that the light of God has come into a world and that the glory of this light is indeed upon us. That is why we celebrate the wonderful season of Christmas. God loves us so much that he continues to show himself to us in our normal day-to-day living. He reveals himself to us at the start of each new day and shows his glory in the sunrise. God shows himself to us in the sound of the birds as they sweetly sing his praise at the start of each new day. God shows himself to us in the rainfall and in the rainbows that very often accompany the rain. God reveals himself to us in the sound of a child’s voice and in countless other ways.

The Catholic catechism teaches us that God in his infinite goodness and wisdom reveals himself to us. With deeds and words, he reveals himself and his plan of loving goodness which he decreed from all eternity in Christ Jesus. According to his plan, his plan of love for us all, all of us by the grace of the Holy Spirit, are to share in the divine life as adopted sons and daughters of God.

The Catholic Catechism continues that from the very beginning of time, God’s desire has always been for us to be one with him. And so from the very beginning, God revealed himself Adam and Eve and he invited them to intimate communion with himself. After the fall of Adam and Eve, God did not cease to revealed himself to them, but he promised salvation for all of their descendents. There is a very powerful message here for us all in that even when fall from grace, God continues to seek us out and to revealed himself to us, not as God who is eager to punish and to reprimand us, but as one who loves us with a love that we can never ever understand.

Throughout salvation’s history the fullness of God’s revelation came in his faithfulness to the promises he made through the prophets of old. This Epiphany was in the form of his final word, Jesus his only begotten son whom he sent into this world to be the perfect sacrifice – the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world..

In today’s gospel reading, we see three wise men who were looking for the baby Jesus and when he was revealed to them they did two important things; they worshiped him and that they gave him gifts. Every day through the celebration of the holy Eucharist, God not only reveals himself to us but he gives himself to us. Every day through the holy Eucharist, every one of us can experience the Epiphany, the revelation of the divine nature of Jesus to us Gentiles. What gifts will you offer him? As we celebrate this feast, let us commit ourselves like the wise men, to worship Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords. Let us offer him the gifts of our lives offered up as sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to our God whose love and mercy can never be out done.

 

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