Epiphany is a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
The Magi Visit the Messiah
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:1-12)
There is a message in these bible verses. The above verses tell us who is really people of God. Usually we think that as we are born Christians, through baptism we have become people of God. In the old testament, Israel is called as people of God. So we think, people of God are people of a particular community like, people of Israel, jerusalem or Christians. People of God are people who trust God, who follow God. Attending Holy Mass daily or receiving holy communion doesn’t mean those people are people of God. In our deeds and words we should follow God. We should love others, help others, humble in heart to become people of God. When Jesus was born that Angels appeared and given that information to shepherds, Magi and guided them to the place where Jesus was born ad allowed them to see Jesus first. There were many high priests, kings there, but God selected the Shepherds and Magi. They were humble in heart. God selected them as the people of God.
Magi opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible. Pagan idols were often made from gold and the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:10-17). The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of His divinity—God in flesh.
Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.
Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction. The baby Jesus would grow to suffer greatly as a man and would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life on the cross for all who would believe in Him.
What we should offer to God? We must respect his Divinity, he is divine healer. We must sacrifice for others, sacrifice for God. We must accept bitterness, sufferings and affliction. We must thank God for whatever sufferings and pain he give us.
Herod said to Magi, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” He was not trusting the God, he had doubts. But Magi were trusting the God and followed the star as God Guided them. We must trust God.
We must love others, love and help the poor. Forgive others, ask pardon to others for hurting them by words and deeds. Pray with strong faith and devotion. Through our words and deeds we should proclaim the love of Jesus. People of God are people who are humble, love and helpful to others, whoever follow the word of God.
Let us try to become a member of people of God.