THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
On Christmas Day we celebrated Jesus’ birth and we recalled how the shepherds (representing the Israelites) were the first to see ‘the Word made Flesh’. Today, on the Solemnity of the Epiphany (Epiphany means manifestation), we recall how the Magi (representing the Gentiles and all peoples of the world) come from the East and also worship and adore him. In this way, the Epiphany brings to perfect fulfilment all the purposes of Advent: The incarnate Son of God, truly God and truly man, the light of the world, is revealed as Lord and Saviour of ALL mankind.
The antiphon for the Magnificat this evening reminds us that Our Lord was also ‘manifested’ / ‘revealed’ as Lord and Saviour and as the Son of God, at his baptism and at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.
There is a long-standing Christian tradition of having ones home blessed on this day. With newly blessed chalk a cross is inscribed on the lintel (above the front door), together with the year and the initials of the three wise men (C+M+B – Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar). These initials are interpreted to mean Christus Mansionem Benedicat.
Fr Philip Sainter