The Solemnity of The Epiphany

Isaiah 60:1-6 | Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 | Matthew 2:1-12


Today’s celebration, namely the coming of the Magi from the East led by a light emanating from the star, has a lot of symbolic significance in the expounding of the mystery of Christ: Christ is the light that rises to dispel darkness. The Birth of the child, Jesus Christ shines brightly in the dark spots of human nature. That Light is holiness restored to the otherwise sinful humanity.

In our natural world, darkness or night is dispelled by the dawn when the sun rises from the East and then sets in the West.  So, Epiphany has great symbolism of Christ the Light shining in our human darkness (human failures, human sinfulness, human disorientation,  human pride, human short sightedness, human stupidity, human misuse of  gifts or talents and a lot more dark or blind spots).  The 3 wise men, were gifted to see the coming of the Light into the dark world.  Herod and the whole of the Capital, Jerusalem did not see the Light. Actually, the star disappeared when the 3 wise men came to Jerusalem. It resurfaced only when they left Jerusalem on their way to Bethlehem.

Herod and Jerusalem represent the blind spots on our road to Holiness. They bring out the ugly part of human nature. Herod conceives the violent schemes of murdering for power. The fear of losing authority and power leads to murder in the case of Herod and several others.

The mystery of Christ enlightens the East and its wise men come out in search of the Mystery of Light. They look for the New Born Baby that is Christ the Mystery of God and the Light of the world. Jerusalem and its leaders, will remain a dark spot that will condemn Christ to death by crucifixion. The New Born Baby – Christ will die in Jerusalem condemned by the leaders of the Jews who handed Him over to Pilate the Roman Governor.

So our First Reading today is very relevant: “Arise, shine for your light has come and the Glory of the LORD has risen upon you.  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you and His glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall walk by your light, and kings in the brightness of your rising and many others.”

We need the star of Christ to direct our lives from darkness into the way of light, into the way of peace. The light of Christ dispels our fears that lead us to violence and all sorts of corrupt practices.

Let us lift up our eyes and see Christ so that we may not stumble and fall.

Let us join St. Paul who goes back to his experience of leaving the way of darkness to the mystery of Christ’s light: He says “the mystery was made known to me by revelation (actually by a light that surrounded him). This mystery was revealed to Christ’s Holy Apostles and prophets by the spirit. The Apostles narrate this Good News to the rest of the community, which gradually forms the Body of Christ- the Church.

LORD, help us not to return to the darkness of ‘Herod’ and the other ‘leaders of Jerusalem’, but let us take your way back to our own Country and our own Home – Which is the life of Holiness in Heaven!  The true Image of God in humanity.

Msgr. Gerard Kalumba
Christ the King Parish, Kampala