Arise, shine out, Jerusalem; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
January 6th in Ireland we celebrate Epiphany which is the feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. On this feast, Western Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles; Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. It is also called Theophany, especially by Eastern Christians.
"They set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."The feast of the Epiphany in the Latin tradition focuses on the manifestation or showing of the Child Jesus to the Magi or Wise men who have come to seek the new King of the Jews. The three wisdom seekers represent the gentiles; those outside the covenanted community of Israel to whom the Messiah will also come. Where the shepherds represented the Chosen People, the three magi represent all those who truly search and seek for God in our world even if from out side our community and experiences. The questions this familiar part of the Christmas narrative can pose to us include:
- What "star" do I follow in my life? Do I follow the Morning Star which is Christ or do I have other things I follow?
- Am I open to seeing the Divine in others even if they are different from me?
- Like the Wise men, am I willing to trust in God and go where She leads me, even if it means travelling far (literally or metaphorically), believing that God will be "my staff and my shield"?
Vatican Radio - Pope Epiphany: Magi personify all who believe and long for God
Vatican Radio - Pope Angelus: Choose to be guided by the star of Jesus
Vatican Radio - The Pope's homily on the feast of the Epiphany
Catholic World Report - Want to know the history behind today's feast of the Epiphany?
OSV - How to better appreciate the feast of the Epiphany This Epiphany let us seek to be changed anew
Aleteia - Moving with the Magi, from darkness to light - On the Feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the sign of salvation, and recognize that we are on a journey of faith
Where are the relics of the three wise men? - The shrine at Cologne is gorgeous, indeed; are the Magi within?
5 Inspirational quotes on the Epiphany from the saints - Reflections on the mystery of the Christ Child made manifest to us