Greetings, fellow disciples of Jesus,
We’ve all had the experience of struggling with a problem, turning it over and over in our minds, grasping in the dark and bumping into proverbial walls, when suddenly a lightbulb comes on and we discover the solution. Eureka!
The word eureka is a Greek word meaning, “to find or discover.” King Herod uses the word when he instructs the magi, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”
The magi did find the Child—Jesus—by the leading of a star; however, they did not report their discovery to Herod, having been warned in a dream of his evil intentions to destroy the Child.
They had experienced an epiphany—the Epiphany—the appearance of God in the flesh, the revelation of God in the person of Jesus. In Matthew’s Gospel there is no account of the shepherds; it is the magi—Gentiles from the East—who first greet the Christ child.
Today is the Epiphany of Our Lord, a day when the Church celebrates the revealing of Christ to the world. The celebration of this day and of the season which follows emphasizes light; particularly in hymnody. Jesus is the Light which shines in a dark world. He is the Word of God which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105).
Unlike the magi, we have no need to search diligently for Jesus. He is with us. He is the Light which shines in the darkness—and the darkness did not and will not overcome it (John 1:5). Let us now, with the magi, rejoice and worship Him.
In the hymn for Epiphany, “As with Gladness Men of Old,” the worship of the magi is offered as an example for us, that “we with holy joy, pure and free from sin’s alloy, all our costliest treasures bring” to Christ, our heavenly King. The gifts of the magi were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What costly treasure might you offer to Christ?
Bishop Beaudoin has declared this to be the “Year of Generosity.” Our scripture memory verse for 2021 is “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” – Matthew 6:21. Together, we’ll be asking questions such as, “Where is my treasure?” “Where is my heart?” “How might the Spirit be leading me to be generous with my time, talents, and treasures?”
As we wrestle with these questions this year, I pray that we’ll have some “Eureka!” moments where we discover something hidden—some Epiphany moments where God’s Light is revealed.
The peace of Christ be with you on Epiphany and throughout this year,