Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The prayer of the Mass that we will study this week is the Preface. The opening of the Eucharist Prayer begins with the words,
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.
For today you have revealed the mystery of our salvation in Christ as a light for the nations, and, when he appeared in our mortal nature, you made us new by the glory of his immortal nature. Through Christ our Lord.
I think God likes light. Its interesting that God’s first words, spoken on day one of creation, were “let there be light” (Gen. 1:3). Light was created before the sun and moon, which were made in the fourth day of creation.
God used light in some amazing ways. A handful of examples include: the light reflected in Moses’ face after he talked with God, there was a cloud and pillar of light that led the Israelites to the Promised Land, light was present in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle in Exodus, a light shone on the shepherds as the angel brought tidings of great joy, and Saul experienced a light at the beginning of his conversion. It shouldn’t really be a surprise that God used a light to lead the Magi to the Christ Child.
The first chapter of the book of John is one of my favorites, “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” “Through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.” (v. 14, 1)
St. Basil said that “the first word of God created the nature of light; it made darkness vanish, dispelled gloom, illuminated the world, and gave to all beings at the same time a sweet and gracious aspect.”
At every Mass, we have an epiphany with the Light.
If you look up Epiphany in a dictionary, you’ll find that the first definition is capitalized and refers to the Feast of the Solemnity, the first Manifestation of Christ.
The second definition is not capitalized, it is an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being. This is the epiphany for the rest of us. I do know people who have seen angels, however, to see this divine being, you only need to see with your eyes of faith.
Jesus, present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, is the Word, the light of the human race. He is the one who dispels gloom, illumines the world and when we receive Him, we receive his light. Just like every instance in scripture, when people have an encounter with God’s light, their lives are changed, we should be changed, too.
When Jesus appeared in our mortal nature, the Son of God became the Son of Man. Through that glory, which can also be a light, the sons of man can become the sons of God. As sons of God, we are called to carry the Light of Christ to the world today. Receive His light and be His light.
Thanks for praying with me,