Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany means manifestation. According to Catholic tradition, the feast of the Epiphany celebrates the many ways that Christ has made Himself known to the world. What the Church celebrates today is the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world; after being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem, He is now re¬vealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him.
This year I was trying to explain to my toddler what Christmas was about. We watched a movie called The Star to teach him about the birth of Christ. Although He could not fully understand, I found the Lord speaking to me as I watched. The three wise men travel great distances on camels and find the child Jesus with His mother and father. Not only do the wise men stand in amazement as they enter the place, but the animals too realize this child is not any ordinary child. They cannot understand it, but they too are amazed by the child in front of them. Their amazement turns to adoration and worship as they all bow down before the King of Kings. The Wisemen present Him with gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold.
Although this was a children’s movie, I found the Lord showing me how awe-inspiring this event was. The whole of creation- men, animals and the whole universe-bows down and worships the God that left everything in heaven to become a baby and live amongst us. It is not only people who worship the Lord but everything in creation. Psalm 150 comes to my mind, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 148:3-4 says, “Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.” In Luke 19 the Lord Jesus arrives in Jerusalem riding a donkey and the people are praising Him. The Pharisees ask the Lord to tell them to stop but the Lord replies, “I tell you if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” The event of the Epiphany is reminding us of what a King the Lord Jesus is. He is to be worshipped by everyone and everything.
In the First Reading, the prophet Isaiah explains why all creation worships the King. He says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you” (v. 1-2). Christ is the light that this world in darkness is looking for. We worship Him because He leads us out of darkness and sin into light and grace. Darkness and sin engulf our lives. We live in negativity and fear of the unknown. But the Lord is calling us to have a breakthrough in our lives. We are called to walk out from under the cloud of darkness above us and into the light of Christ. How can we do this? Verses 4-5 gives us the answer- “Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy.”
We must reconnect with the Lord through praise. When we feel our hearts and minds are weighed down and we cannot see the light of Christ in our daily life, we are called to stop and lift our eyes to God in praise. Praising God in the silence of our hearts and minds can bring clarity to us. When we align ourselves with God again and again He can change our lives. Therefore, all creation worships the Lord Jesus.
St. Paul speaks of this mystery of God in the Second Read¬ing. He says, “Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mys¬tery made known to me by revelation, as I have already writ¬ten briefly” (v.2-3). This mystery is the ability of God to change our lives and bring us back into the light. This is the mystery of God’s mercy to forgive our sins and make us holy once again. This mystery was not revealed until Christ was born into the world. It is because of this mystery that we all bow down and worship the Lord.
Today, as you celebrate the Epiphany and remember the 3 wise men bringing gifts to the child Jesus, we are reminded that we too can offer the Lord Jesus the gift of praise to connect us to Him and the gift of worship with all creation because He is the King of Kings.
Prayer: Prayer: Abba Father, I bring an offering of worship to my King. No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing. Jesus, may You receive the honor that You’re due. O Lord, I bring an offering to You. Amen.