Epiphany Sunday – January 3, 2021

Epiph21.    Isaiah 60:1-6.   Isaiah was encouraging a disheartened remnant of Jews who had relatively recently been released from captivity.  They were a poor people with little resources who had returned to a land that had been ravaged by war and they needed to rebuild.  Isaiah is calling upon the people to have faith in their glorious God who will make them a light to the nations.  Proclaiming the praises of the Lord, the nations will come, bringing gold and frankincense.  Israel will be the light, the shining radiance.

Matthew 2:1-12.     Magi from the ancient faith of Persia were astrologers who attempted to read the stars as a way to read messages from the supernatural to the people of earth.  As Catholics we traditionally believe that God used a special star to lead the magi to the newborn king or Christ or messiah of the Jews.  The magi acceptedthe star as a guiding light from God.  They, who were Gentiles, came to do homage to the king of the Jews whereas Herod, representing the Jewish establishment, sought to kill theChrist.  John 1:5reads, Jesus is the light that “shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”  The way to Jesus is fraught with difficulties.  We seek to bring to him anything and everything that we have that is of value; after all, he gives us the most valuable thing we can ever have, eternity in heaven.

Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6.   Paul speaks of the mystery that was made known or revealed to him that he, in turn, makes known to the Gentiles.  It was a mystery because it had not been revealed to people in other ages.  The revelation is Jesus, God who became human to bring humans to God.  John 1:11-12 reads, “He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.  But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.”  How magnificent it is to be children of the almighty Creator of the universe!   God has invited us to belong to him.  However only by living daily in the power of the Holy Spirit can we make our divine adoption a genuine reality.