The Invitation of the Epiphany
God’s presence is revealed to us in many different ways: we can read the “book” of God’s creation; we can search out the meaning of our dreams; we can learn from our own and others’ experience; and we can be attentive to the wisdom of our sacred scriptures. A deep awareness of our place in the Earth community and our kinship with the other-than-human teaches us respect for all creation and respect for its power to lead us beyond ourselves.
Epiphany presents us with the wise ones or astrologers “from the East” who are led beyond themselves and their immediate location by the rising of a star. They form their own preliminary hypothesis and travel west to search out the meaning of this sign. They follow the star that leads them to the home of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, where they find the new born child, the incarnate Wisdom of God. The gospel does not stipulate how many wise ones or magi come to pay homage to the child who has already been named as Emmanuel, God-with-us, with the entire Earth community. There is no indication in the story as to whether the wise ones are men or women or both. Nor are we told their number. The three earth gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh have been traditionally associated with three different characters, usually kings of diverse nationality and colour. These strangers are the first to recognise “God-with-us” in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
Written by Sister Veronica Lawson, rsm. Full text at www.catholicreligiousaustralia.org