Epiphany is more than the celebration of the three kings bearing gifts. It the reminder that we are called to bring real gifts before the Savior. The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation.
When they [the wise men] saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. . . . Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream (Matt. 2:10–13)
What we tend to overlook, though, is that it wasn’t just the Holy Family that was rescued from Herod by the angel that appeared to Joseph. This was a gift. It was the gift of safety.
The wise men, too, were warned not to return to Herod precisely because their lives would have been in danger had they done so. They were given the gift of safety and the ability to spread the message of the truth.
God’s gift to us each day is the gift of life. This life we have affords us the opportunity to do great things in His world. He gave us the gift of His Son, who is our hope and salvation. Our hope and salvation arrived under a stressful situation. That stressful situation bought forgiveness to the world.
Embrace the gift of love that God gives us in his Son.