Reading I Is 60:1-6; Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13; Reading II Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6; Gospel Mt 2:1-12

The Epiphany is the manifestation of God to the world through Christ. The Epiphany of the Lord was celebrated for the first time in Egypt on the day of a pagan feast of light. The liturgy of the Church uses the word “light” to guide us through the meditation on the Epiphany of the Lord Jesus.

In the Gospel, we hear about the magi making efforts in seeking the newborn king. They made a long journey as a star was guiding them. When they finally found the newborn king, they adored Him and offered Him presents. Their presents were the gold which was a symbol of the royalty of Christ, the frankincense which was a symbol of His divinity, and the myrrh which was a symbol of His humanity and predicted His death.  The magi represented the whole humanity. Their visit to Christ shows that the whole humanity welcomes the newborn king.

It is important to realize that even though the political and religious authorities of Israel knew about the newborn king they did not come to adore Him. They saw Him as a rival, a threat to their power. Herode was so jealous against the newborn king that he made an attempt to kill Him. It is surprising that those who knew about the coming of Christ, the people of Israel, did not welcome Him, but only the magi who came from far away were the ones who came to adore Christ as a king of the universe and saviour.

In fact, as Christ puts it, prostitutes and publicans may enter the kingdom of God before us who believe to be already united with Christ for they make efforts to find Christ while we do not. However, things should not be like that. The Epiphany of the Lord is an invitation for us to examine if we make efforts in seeking Christ, if we do concrete actions for Christ because to have faith in Him is not enough. We should follow the magi who did not only contemplate the star, but decided to follow it.

Thus, God sends to each one of us a star, namely all different things that God does to manifest His presence in our lives. So, the question for us today is: Do we limit ourselves to the contemplation of the star, or like the magi, do we act according to God’s will? We should imitate the magi and go before the King with presents to offer Him. The presents we are to offer Him are our hearts. Thus, we have to make sure that our hearts are worthy to be presented before the King. If our hearts are full of jealousy, envy and desires for bodily pleasures, we should pray that God fills them with love, gratitude, and the desire for true joy so that they may be worthy for Christ. May our blessed mother, the Virgin Mary pray for us.

 Note: The 6:30 AM Mass of Epiphany (January 3, 2020 at Mont Sion Gikungu), was celebrated by reverend Father Alain Amani.

Christa Ishimwe