A feast of Adoration and Light
Jan 4, 2019
They were overjoyed at seeing the Star, and entering the house they saw the child with Mary His mother. They prostrated themselves and did Him homage.
Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord. A feast of Adoration and Light. This word Epiphany means manifestation or to reveal.
Throughout Salvation History in Sacred Scriptures, the world was waiting in expectation for the Divine Kingdom of the Messiah. The inspired books of the Old Testament Law literature and prophecies give glimpses of the coming of the Messiah. The people of the Old Testament waited in expectation but didn’t see Him. They trusted and believed in the hopeful coming of the Redeemer.
In the gospel, the Magi follow the Star, the gospel recalls one of these glimpses of the coming of Christ from the Book of Numbers, when the Moabite king, Balak, called upon the seer Balaam to curse Israel. But each time Balaam tried to curse Israel, God intervened and words of blessing came from his mouth instead. Finally, in his last attempt to curse the people of Israel, God’s chosen ones, God intervened and Balaam pronounced the coming of a future king from Israel. According to the passage, a star would be the sign of the king.
A star shall rise out of Jacob and a scepter shall spring up from Israel. Numbers 24. 17
We continue to celebrate the joys of Christmas, the coming of our King and Redeemer into the world. God intervened in history and the hopeful expectation has been revealed to us in Jesus. The kingship and divinity of the Christ Child are first made known to us in the Adoration of the Magi on this great feast of Epiphany. The three kings arrive bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gold symbolizing kingship, the incense symbolizing divinity, and myrrh symbolizing death.
After the patient waiting of the Messiah, and images of how and what the king would be, Jesus is finally revealed to the world. His glory and light come to us in the fruitfulness and goodness of the Word made Flesh. Jesus isn’t revealed only to the kings by the star. The kings had to first set out in search of Him and found the Star, which then led them to the child Jesus in the manger.
Our blessed Lord would continue to reveal His divinity in the miracles of the wedding feast at Cana and His baptism in the River Jordan, “Behold the Lamb of God”. He reveals himself to us in the life of faith and the life of the Church. He has come among us born of the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived by the grace of the Holy Spirit and has come to us in history. We have faith in Him through Divine Revelation, the teaching of the Apostles, and Catholic Fathers of the Church, the witness of the martyrs, and devotion of the Saints and Angels…Jesus continues to reveal Himself to us today at this particular moment in the history of Salvation and the Church.
Jesus shows Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist. Like the Magi, God was revealed to them in the child laying in a manger in human flesh, what appeared to them as a simple child, was the reality of the Messiah veiled by human flesh…we too, when we come to Holy Mass we see the reality of the True King, Christ, under the veil of simple bread and wine. Like the Magi we come to Mass and fall in adoration before Him in humble devotion. Through the reality and hope of faith, we know He is truly present among us. He is present in our own hearts. In our own spiritual lives. In our sufferings. In our sufferings He reveals himself most. When we face our sufferings with patience and charity and trust in God’s holy will, we gain merit for eternal life. The Father chose to reveal Himself to the world in the suffering of the flesh. He purifies our gift of faith in our sufferings. Sustained by our acts of faith and devotion, we cling to Him and give ourselves totally to Him in confidence and trust. In our humble giving of ourselves to Christ, He knows we truly depend on Him alone.
The Holy Mass is where the Lord reveals Himself to us in a real way. This is the source of God’s Divine Life for us. However, we must also have lives of devotion and prayer to be more open to His love. In particular, the prayer of contemplation prepares the eyes of our hearts in order that He may reveal Himself to us more clearly. The more we are in union with the Lord in our prayer, the more we’re able to see Him in the world around us in our daily lives…He reveals Himself to us when the light of grace opens the eyes of our hearts to more clearly see Him. We fall before Him in worship and adoration.