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Jesus Is Revealed to the Nations

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion

Clergy Corner for January 7, 2018, The Epiphany of the Lord
Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3a,5-6; Matthew 2:1-12


On The Epiphany of the Lord, we celebrate the revelation of Christ, the Savior and Light of the world (Jn 1:4, 8; 9:5), to all those with eyes to see, as Jesus is revealed to the nations for the first time.

Isaiah said: "darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples"; but "Your light has come.… [U]pon you the LORD shines" (Isa 60:1-3). "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone" (Isa 9:1).

Following a star to the Christ Child, the magi were the first Gentiles (non-Jews) to acknowledge Him as "King" and worship Him (Mt 2:11). The wise men "opened their treasures" and gave Jesus "gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh" and "they prostrated themselves and did him homage" (Mt 2:11).

Now we Gentiles (see Eph 3:5-6), too, are privileged to open whatever we possess as treasures – especially from our hearts and lives – and bring Christ gifts as we come to worship Him as our King. Through faith and Baptism in Him, He has grafted us into His chosen people and formed us into His flock.

Jesus, Who is King of the universe and ruler over all nations (see Mt 2:6; Ps 72), wants to rule in our hearts. He came as a babe in Bethlehem to make it easier for us to love and accept Him, to trust and obey Him, and to follow and serve Him all the days of our life.

Christ is the star guiding us through life, dispelling darkness, revealing mysteries, making the way clear (Jn 12:46). He guides us by the light of faith and His teaching (see Ps 119:105). As St. Paul says, we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Faith means trusting in the Lord without knowing the future. He knows the future, because He is already there. While we might like to know how everything will work out, faith and revelation give us enough light for the next step, which is all we really need.

The Christmas Season ends after the Baptism of the Lord on Monday, January 8, but the Light of Christ shines on in His Church and through His presence in our lives. May we always follow the Light of Christ, and share it with others.

 

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