Sunday Reflection by Fr. Stephen Salocks, Rector
On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, the revelation of God that results from the birth of His Son, our Lord and Savior, now reaches beyond the shepherds, Bethlehem, and the boundaries of Judaism to all lands and to all peoples on earth. It is God’s intention to bring all peoples and all things together in and through Jesus Christ.
Before the Gospel is proclaimed, we hear the prophet Isaiah speak encouragement to the people of Jerusalem and reassure them that no matter how dark and thick the clouds may be, the light and glory of God are more powerful. The Letter to the Ephesians assures us that the peoples of all the nations alongside the people of Israel have received the invitation to walk by this light and take their place as “coheirs [and] copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).
Of course, it is the account of the Magi’s visit in today’s Gospel from Matthew that catches our attention. The account of the visitors from the east who follow the star and come to give homage to the newborn king has been understood and interpreted in a variety of ways. Pope Benedict XVI, reflecting on the Magi says: “The key point is this: the wise men from the east are a new beginning. They represent the journeying of humanity toward Christ. They initiate a procession that continues throughout history.” [Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, Image, 2021, 97]
The celebration of Epiphany gives us the opportunity to reflect on the ways God is calling us to continue on the journey of faith and discipleship. God invites us again and again, as individuals and together as members of the Body of Christ. The fact that the Epiphany of the Lord falls so closely to New Year’s Day is its own kind of gift. Yesterday, on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, we honored our Blessed Lady, who is the paradigm of being open to God’s invitation to make God’s Son present in the world. The beginning of a new year also allows us the opportunity to reflect on the year just past and to consider the resolutions and goals for the year ahead. Celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord, we are challenged to ask ourselves: Where will our faith lead take us this year? Will we be open to God’s call and allow ourselves to be guided by the light of our Lord and Savior?
Today we pray that we will always trust the guidance of God in our lives. As our Lord guided the Magi to see His Son and do him homage, so may He help us to trust the path he sets before us and be open to the gifts that he gives us through the Son of God and Son of Mary, our Lord Jesus Christ!