Today, we celebrate the solemnity of the Epiphany of Christ who came into the world to restore harmony between God and all his children. Epiphany in a simple sense means the manifestation of Christ to the whole world, especially the gentiles. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah, announced the coming of the light that will guide all the nations and all the peoples. We saw the three Magi Kings visiting, worshiping, and adoring that light who is Christ in the Gospel.
The gifts they offered to the Newborn King were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. While gold signified the kingship of Christ, frankincense signified his divinity. The myrrh which is the traditional herb used for the burial of the dead is a reference to Christ’s coming death. It is that oil that Nicodemus used to anoint the body of Christ (John 19:39). Christ is our God, our king, and the victim that will be crucified for us.
In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us that we are fortunate to be part of those to whom this revelation has been made. In thanksgiving to God, therefore, just like the Magi, what are we going to offer to Christ today and in this New Year of 2020? What will be our gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
The Magi Kings, after encountering Christ, went home by another road different from the one by which they came, in order to avoid Herod. That is exactly what each of us is called to do now, especially in this new year. That will be our gift to Christ. There is no one who truly encounters Christ and remains the same. Christ’s revelation to us today is supposed to lead us to take a new road avoiding the Herod of our past lives.
In King Herod, we see jealousy, anger, and envy personified. Pompousness and pride that makes one think that he is like God and has unlimited power. Selfishness and greed that drives one to unimaginable cruelty and all the evils one can think of.
It is from all these evils that Christ’s revelation today wants us to take a road away from so that we can be his epiphany to others and our entire world. The hidden God wants to reveal himself to others through us. It is only when we are free from evil that we can be translucent to allow the rays of God’s light to pass through us to others. Remember, when your headlight glass is filled with dirt the light from bulb does not shine out.