Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord.
At the birth of Jesus, the angels announced His birth to shepherds in the fields. These were poor people, shepherds being members of one of the lower strata of society. They were most likely to have been Jewish people.
In the Gospel we are also told that a star guided some wise men from the East to where the child Jesus was.
They were not Jews but Gentiles, i.e. pagans. They brough rich gifts to Jesus. They were not poor.
The gifts were gold, representing Kingship. Jesus is King. However, His Kingship is a leadership of love and service. ‘The Son of Man came to serve and not to be served’. He washes the feet of the disciples in the Last Supper.
Frankincense. Used for temple worship. Jesus is not only human but also God. God dwells among us. Jesus enables humanity to enter into a most intimate union with God. God became one of us so that we can become one with God!
Myrrh. Use for burials! Already we are being reminded that Jesus is going to die for us, and for our salvation.
Jesus came for poor and rich, for Jew and others, for all people of all time.
In Baptism we are Baptised into the Kingship, the prophetic role, and the priesthood of Christ.
Kingship. We are raised into a new and richer dignity. We do not have to be slaves of sin; Jesus enables us to share in His victory. We do not need to be overwhelmed by evil.
We hear of horrific things that people do to each other. Sometimes evil can seem overwhelming!
However, with Christ we can stand up to it.
Prophetic. Jesus spoke and lived the truth and witnessed to the truth. We care commissioned as prophets. Our lives, our actions, our words need to be inspired by our faith. The Gospel, the teachings of the Church, should be our guide to good moral living, and a full human living.
Priesthood. Christ offers Himself in sacrifice. He offers Himself completely to the Father. He does not hold back.
We also share in this sacrifice when we offer ourselves to God. The more unconditional our ‘yes’ is, the freer and the more Christ-like we become.
What a privilege we have in knowing all this! What a privilege we have in being invited to proclaim this hope to all people, all of creation.