Reflection for the Epiphany- 2023

Written on: January 3, 2023

1st Reading:  Isaiah 60:1-6
Responsorial Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
2nd Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12

The feast of Epiphany celebrates God’s revelation of Jesus the Messiah as the ruler of all peoples. It was held that the Messiah would come only for the “sons of Israel,” but in our second reading, Paul insists this originalist view is wrong. God was doing something new, as Paul proclaims in our second reading,

It has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”

One way Jesus goes about making something new is by building on earlier prophecies. As Jesus put it, not to negate scripture but to complete or fulfill it. In today’s Gospel, the chief priests and the scribes of the people claimed prophecy about where “a ruler over Israel” was to be born. The prophecy got the correct location but apparently, God had moved on from sending a “ruler for Israel” to One who would rule over all the nations; Lord, every nation on Earth will adore you.”

Through all time, God continues to reveal the deeper ways we understand the message. In our time, God’s ‘new’ revelations seem to be coming to us disguised as our growing realizations of how insufficiently we have received God’s light and failed to be light to others as co-partners in living out Christ’s message:

      • how comfortably we accepted our so-called superiorities,
      • how terribly exclusive we became,
      • how fearful in protecting the dignity of every human being,
      • how late to care for our Mother Earth.

I consider these realizations as progress but they have come to us at a great cost: lives lost, justice withheld, discrimination, lies, division and lately, the obvious degradation of our planet.

What a way to learn! I thank God that our Saviour is so patient with us!

Written by Sr. Barbara Harrington, GNSH

Print copy here: Epiphany 2023

Featured image courtesy of Timothy Eberly/Unsplash

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