The Lord’s Epiphany: its implications

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THE Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany reminds us that Christ is meant for all of us, and not just a few, and like the 3 magi, we should make an effort to look for him, that is, to look for God, in everything in our life—in the persons we meet, in the different situations, conditions and circumstances of our life.

To be sure, God is everywhere. This is how one of the psalms describes this reality: “Whither shall I go from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (139,7-10)

More than that, God’s presence is not merely passive but active. He is always intervening in the existence of all the creatures, ever applying his wisdom through the ceaseless providence that he exercises over all his creation whose nature he always respects, upholds and defends.

And we should not worry too much about the effort involved here because just like what happened to the magi, we would also be helped and led by a star that is none other than our Christian faith, and the many instrumentalities that the Church provides.

We may not see its light from time to time for one reason or another, but there is no doubt that it is always there. We just have to learn to live with that condition, unafraid in pursuing God’s will no matter what the cost. We just have to learn how to use the means provided to us.

We obviously have to be wary of the unavoidable villains along the way. The Herod of that time can be our own weaknesses, the intoxicating allurements of the world and the wiles of the devil. But as long as we realize that we need to wage a lifelong process of ascetical struggle, then things would just be all right.

Like the magi too, let us offer the best gifts we can give back to God who actually has given us everything that is good for us. We have to learn to repay love with love. We have been freely given, and so we have to learn how to freely give ourselves to God and to the others.

And the best gift we can give him, far beyond what the magi offered, are our own very selves, our whole heart. God himself wants it that way, as one passage in the Book of Proverbs puts it: “My child, give me your heart, and let your eyes delight in my ways.” (23,26) Of course, Christ himself articulated it more directly when he said, “Love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mt 22,37)

Lastly, with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany of Christ, we are actually left with an invitation that can very well be a big challenge for us who profess to believe in Christ. This is none other than the duty to show or reveal Christ, as he is, to others.

This is no mean responsibility to be carried out by us who are his disciples. The ideal to aim at is to have those words of Christ to his disciples said of us as well: “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me. He who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Lk 10,16)

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com

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