The Epiphany of the Lord, January 8, 2023

by Sr Cynthia Anne Hruby ND

1st Reading:  Isaiah 60: 1-6

“See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the people…. Raise your eyes….”
In the gloomy days of winter, it is not uncommon to hear someone speak of longing for the sun. So much of what we hear in local and world news puts dark truth before our eyes. We see people suffering under various forms of poverty and oppression. Isaiah does not deny this. Instead, he proclaims the deeper truth that the light has come. For us, the earth days of Jesus Incarnate are past. We live in the time of the Spirit, the promise of the Father. Through faith we know the Lord our “light has come” to dwell with us. We can “look about” and see Him in the generosity and goodness of many who bring faith, hope, and love as we go about our living.

2nd Reading:  Ephesians 3: 2-3a, 5-6 

“You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace….”

Paul wrote letters to groups of believers with whom he shared the mysteries that had been revealed to him. Previous generations did not receive the message that all people who believed in Christ Jesus could become “coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise.” Such an inclusive message of salvation would have seemed radical in his day to the Chosen People. Yet, Paul was a good steward of the grace he received. He traveled many miles and endured much suffering to share the gift of faith, the good news of salvation. Generations after him continue to hear the message and take up the responsibilities of stewardship by applying their personal and communal gifts for the benefit of others.

Gospel:  Matthew 2: 1-23   

“… Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts….”

The magi came from the east (wise men, noble pilgrims, likely of a Kurdish priestly tribe from the Medes and Persians) to the house (not a stable) where the star led them. Seeing the child Jesus with his mother, they honored him and offered three gifts: gold for a king, frankincense for a high priest, and myrrh for sacrifice. This experience in Bethlehem became their epiphany, the manifestation of what Isaiah prophesized. Numerous speculations have been written about these seekers. One tradition is that they spoke many languages thus they represent “every nation on earth” that seeks truth and is open to hear the message revealed in the Word.

“Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.”