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January 7, 2018 - Let Us Be Epiphany

The Epiphany of the Lord

Scripture Readings

Last week, I had, what I am now calling, “homily fatigue.” I think the way Christmas fell this year took its toll on me. Hence, what I have for you today instead of full length homily, is a brief reflection.    

Today is the feast of the Epiphany. Even though this feast is about Jesus, I want to begin with Mary. Today’s scripture tells us that the Magi “were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.” 

I absolutely love this image… the child with his mother, Mary. 

Through Mary, all the Covenants of the Old Testament were fulfilled. In fact, Mary is called the “New Ark of the Covenant.” There are two Covenants that come to our mind that have to do with an ark - Noah's Ark and the Ark of the Covenant. 

Noah’s Ark. This ark carried Noah’s family and the creatures of the earth and saved them from destruction. God then make a Covenant with Noah - that never again would all of creation be destroyed in a deluge. Mary, the New Ark did more… she carried within her, Him through who everything that is, was created! Because she carried the Savior, all of us and creation is saved from destruction. 

The Ark of the Covenant. This ark was created as a result the Exodus. The staff which Moses used to carry out God’s commands and the two stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandment were in this Ark. For the Israelites, this ark represented the real presence of God. The ark went wherever the people went. 

Mary is called the Ark of the New Covenant because she carried within her the one who is the New Covenant. He saves us from the exodus and leads us into the Promised Land of eternity. 

This is the Mary who the Magi saw with Child. Epiphany literally means, “manifestation.” Epiphany is the manifestation, or the revelation, or the making known of the Christ to the entire world. Mary revealed God to the world in a way that no human being did. 

Here is the practical implication of today's feast. Just like the the Magi discovered Mary and Jesus together, the world must meet Christ in us. Like Mary, those who come to our house must encounter Christ. 

For us Catholics, this is even more true because in every Eucharist, Christ comes to us as really as he did in Mary. We too like Mary, are the new ark of the new covenant. This week, as we move about the world, may the world encounter Christ in is. Let us not merely celebrate Epiphany. Let us be Epiphany! 

- Fr. Satish Joseph