Epiphany of the Lord

By Fr Wandile M. Dlamini OSM

*Those of us who bear their difficulties with joy in their journey to encounter
Christ led by the star of faith, will surely see his and will be healed from pains.

First Reading ; Isaiah 60; 1-6

The church uses this passage of scripture for the first reading of the Mass of the Feast of Epiphany, for she sees in it some symbols of her universality.The church is perceived as the light which shines and opposes the presence of darkness in the world. It is in the church that the glory of the Lord should shine.The presence of the Lord as the light of the world unifies all nations. Into this light all the sons and daughters of Sion are attracted from far away and are being tenderly carried [ verse 4] which is their return from exile. The church is called to Arise and Shine.

. Arise = she is called to rise from the dust of sin and to see the glory of God that has come upon her; she is perceived as being in the state affliction.

. Shine = the church is invited to view the light, enjoy it and be illumined by it, to get out of the corner of darkness and enjoy the beauty of the light that has come into the world [Christ].

. Thy light has come = the prophet here speaks of the future times and sees the Messiah as someone who has already come to shed the light of salvation on a church and the world that dwells in darkness.

. And the glory of the Lord =  as Yahweh showed himself to the people of Israel during their journey to the promised land, in the same way he would manifest himself in the era of the Messiah as a glorious protector of his people and shine over them like the sun that shines over darkness.

The birth of Jesus Christ dispersed all darkness that laid hidden in the minds of the people and they saw the great light.

Second Reading; Ephesians 3; 2-3,5-6

The Apostle Paul reflects on his mission to the Gentiles. He alludes to his vocation and appointment to the apostolic office and how his insight through revelation, as well as that of the other apostles and charismatic prophets in the church has deepened understanding of God,s plan of salvation in Christ. Paul is the special herald of a new promise to the Gentiles;that the divine plan includes them in the spiritual benefits promised to lsrael.  So Paul has been given the grace and the task of explaining to all the divine plan of salvation.

Gospel of Matthew 2: 1-8

King Herod in his old age had never shown any love or affection for his family. During his reign he got troubled  with dread of a rival when he heard that there was another man growing to over as King. He heard about the baby Jesus born to be King. Herod did not comprehend the spiritual nature of the Messianic Kingdom. He got disturbed at heart and assembled the chief priests and the scribes to inquire of them where the Messiah was to be born.There were Magi ( people who were regarded as having more than human knowledge) who had seen a star which led them to where the child was born. ( It was a common ancient  belief that a new star appeared at the time of a ruler’s birth). This star led these three wise men to full understanding  of the presence of God amongst them. They arrived at the place of baby Jesus’ birth  and found the King in a simple cottage not Palace with his poor mother next to him. Overwhelmed to have found the King they offered him gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. This was indeed relief to Joseph and Mary in their poor condition. Our Heavenly Father provides his children what they need. He uses and touches some goodhearted people to supply the wants of others, and provides for them from every corners of the earth.

Fr. Wandile M Dlamini osm