Epiphany, Master of the Aachen Altar, circa 1510, Wikimedia Commons, CC

January 6 is the traditional date for celebrating the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. Although we observed the feast during this past Sunday’s liturgy, it’s good to pause for a bit today to reflect on the far-reaching impact the visit of the Three Kings has had on the faith of so many, and particularly on our own faith.

An epiphany is a manifestation, the revelation of a divine being. In the case of THE Epiphany as we recognize it in the Catholic Church, our Lord was made manifest to the Gentiles through the Magi. Thus, he was made manifest to all of humanity and for all time. He is the Son of God, the Messiah.

As we consider the glory of the Epiphany, we should be asking ourselves, Is Jesus MY Messiah? Has he been made manifest to me in the depths of my heart? 

Let the Epiphany Hymn of St. Ambrose be your guide in meditation today:

Most High God!
Thou that enkindlest
the fires of the shining stars!
O Jesus!
Thou that art peace and life and light and truth,
hear and grant our prayers.

This present day has been made holy
by thy mystic baptism,
whereby thou didst sanctify
those waters of the Jordan,
which of old were thrice turned back.

It is holy by the star shining in the heavens,
whereby thou didst announce
thy Virginal Mother’s delivery
and didst, on the same day,
lead the Magi to adore thee in thy crib.

It is holy too,
by thy changing the water
of the pitchers into wine;
which the steward of the feast,
knowing that he had not so filled them,
drew forth for the guests.

Glory be to thee, O Lord Jesus,
that didst appear on this Day!
And to the Father and to the Holy Spirit,
for everlasting ages. Amen.
Hymn of St. Ambrose (338-397), used by the Church in Milan


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