January 2, 2011 — The Epiphany of the Lord
The word epiphany, as we’ve all heard in homilies, comes from the Greek term for “appearance” or “manifestation” and commemorates the coming of the Magi to worship the infant Jesus. It’s ranked as a Solemnity, the highest rank of celebrations in the liturgical year. But why does the Church consider this observance so important?
The key for understanding is to remember that Jesus meets our human spiritual needs in more than one way. First, he is the Messiah – the Christ, the Anointed One – that the Jews were awaiting. The shepherds in the fields who heard the angels proclaim that he is the Christ were Jews, and they rejoiced and came to worship him.