Epiphany

The season of Christmas is packed full of celebrations that are meant to remind us of God’s Theophany (a manifestation of the divine) – God’s breaking through time to be with us fully here on earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Epiphany, sometimes referred to as Three Kings’ Day, is a celebration of God’s revelation. The term epiphany means “to show” or “to make known” or “to reveal.” It “remembers” the coming of three Magi bringing gifts to visit the Christ child – by doing this they “revealed” Jesus to the world. As with most aspects of the Christian liturgical calendar, Epiphany has theological significance as a “teaching tool” for the people of God. The Magi who brought gifts to the Christ child were the first Gentiles to acknowledge Jesus as God’s Theophany and so were the first to “show” or “reveal” Jesus to a wider world as the Incarnate One – God become flesh. This act of worship by the Magi, which corresponded to Simeon’s blessing that this child Jesus would be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32), was one of the first indications that Jesus came for all people, of all nations, of all races, and that the work of God in the world would not be limited to only a few.

Saint Benedict gives many “teaching tools” for the people of God that continue God’s Theophany
– just a few here from The Rule of Benedict – Chapter 4:

Love your neighbor as yourself …
You must honor everyone ...
Relieve the lot of the poor,
cloth the naked,
visit the sick,
bury the dead,
go to the help of the troubled,
console the sorrowing …
Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way …
Place your hope in God alone …
Respect the elders …
Love the young …
Make peace before the sun goes down …