【Spiritual Talk】Feast of the Epiphany – Fr. Anthony Ho

by Kenny Cheng

This Sunday, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the coming of three wise men from the East who followed a star to worship Jesus and give Him gifts, as recorded in the reading from the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12. Normally, this feast is celebrated on January 6th, but in some countries such as Canada, this day is not a public holiday, so it is celebrated on the nearest Sunday instead. Some people have attempted to explain the star’s appearance with natural means, but the star stopped above Jesus, so this is very difficult. More people use the Jewish tradition to explain the star as an angel, just as an angel lead the Jewish people to the Promised Land. When the three wise men arrived at the house of the baby and His mother, they did not merely kneel but also prostrated themselves, a sign of worship. In Jerusalem, the chief priests and the scribes did not worship Jesus, but only foreigners did. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which were the first fruits of the Gentiles and showed Jesus as true God and true man. The early Church fathers admired the wise men’s faith: although their physical eyes saw a baby, their eyes of faith saw God, and that is why they prostrated themselves and offered gifts. As faithful Catholics, our physical eyes see the Blessed Sacrament as bread, but our eyes of faith see God, hence why we kneel and offer up spiritual gifts.

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