A Light for Revelation to All
Epiphany means “to make known” or “to reveal.” The Feast of Epiphany celebrates the arrival of the magi bringing gifts to the Christ child at the manger in Bethlehem. The Magi were the first Gentiles to acknowledge Jesus as “King” and to “reveal” Jesus to a wider world as the incarnate Christ. This act of worship, which corresponded to Simeon’s blessing that this child would be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32), was one of the first indications that Jesus came for all people, of all nations, of all races, and that the work of God in the world would not be limited to only a few.
The colors of Epiphany are the colors of Christmas, white and gold, the colors of celebration, newness, and hope that mark the most sacred days of the church year. The day is observed as a time of focusing on the mission of the church in reaching others by “showing” Jesus as the Savior of all people. It is also a time of focusing on Christian brotherhood and fellowship.
As an outward sign of our Christian unity, we might revive the Middle Ages tradition of blessing homes at Epiphany. The family gathers around the inside of the front door with a piece chalk had been blessed with a special blessing after morning Mass. With the blessed chalk, they write over the front door: AD 20+C+M+B+14 which stands for “Amno Domini 2014 — Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar” and say “Christ Bless this house.” The letters CMB stand for “Christus mansionem benedicat” – Christ bless this house. This tradition symbolizes the family’s commitment to welcome Christ, whoever he may be, into their homes on a daily basis throughout the year. Happy New Year!