Date: January 6, 2019
The word "epiphany" means "to show forth". Epiphanies, both large and small, tend to be private events - yet events with great significance for the public. Trying to share the details with another of an epiphany is fraught with complications. The words are never quite right and even the most sympathetic listener cannot fully bridge the gap between description and what is was like being there. Most of us keep our personal experiences of the Holy to ourselves. Who would believe it? And who would really understand? The irony is that epiphanies are made for sharing, even as they are impossible to communicate fully.
This is certainly the case of today’s extraordinary gospel story. Today the Church celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wisemen (magi) from the East. These foreigners are Gentiles illustrating the universal breadth of the good news brought by the “king of the Jews.” They are people of good will, open to God, ready to hear and follow the call of God. They are people willing to follow a star, wherever it might lead. Open and starry-eyes, they are romantic and lovable figures, pursing the truth and searching for a deep and abiding joy that the world cannot give.
If we are truly wise and follow as these wise astrologers did, the star and the journey will send us onwards, by newer paths, to come into the presence of the Child of Light and the Prince of Peace, who is the fulfillment of humanity's deepest hopes and desires for light, justice, love and peace.