Gospel Reflection | The Epiphany of the Lord

Reading 1

Is 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.


Mt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.


Today, we commemorate the Epiphany of the Lord, in which Jesus is revealed as the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world. It is especially a revelation of Jesus as Messiah to the Gentiles, symbolizing the inclusion of all nations, languages, and peoples in God's plan of salvation.

I invite you to analyze the decisions made by the wise men from the East – the Magi – on their way to find Jesus. Being themselves “outsiders”, not originating from Jerusalem, it took faith on their part to embark on a long and arduous journey to find a newborn King, not of their countries, but of the Jews. They came prepared with gifts which tells us that they had the conviction that they would find Him.

Wisdom guided them to seek out guidance and permission from the one who had authority over the land, King Herod, and to inquire from him on the exact location of the birth of this newborn King. Once they received instruction, they continued their way following solely the guidance of a star. They possessed the wisdom of elders and the childlike faith that a star would guide them to their destination.

The Magi were obedient and humble. They stopped right at the location where the star lead them. Upon entering the house, they immediately prostrated themselves – laying themselves on the ground in reverence and submission – before a baby. Faith told them that this was not just a baby, this was a King. They did not question His littleness, the humble home where they found Him, His humanly appearance – they simply prostrated themselves in adoration.

Lastly, they wisely listened and obeyed the dream that warned them not to return to Herod, even though this had been Herod’s request. In doing so, the Magi demonstrated their discernment. And so, I pray that we may seek the wisdom, and obedience of the Magi in our everyday lives and come to our Lord today with a posture of adoration, humility, and faith.

Please be assured of my prayers before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+ Bishop Schlert

Photo: The Adoration of the Magi (Matthias Stom), Public Domain


Mass Livestream