Epiphany - Year A


When the people of Israel returned from exile, Jerusalem lay in ruins--a shameful reflection of its former glory. It had been the target of thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the Middle East. The prophet foresees a return to that past splendor. He predicts that nations will again pour wealth into it. He cites several including Sheba. This is probably what is now called Yemen, or possibly Ethiopia. The Queen of Sheba had once brought priceless gifts to Solomon. The Church sees the fulfillment of this omen in the gifts of the Magi.

Rise up in splendor jerusalem your light has come

The gentiles are now coheirs


They offered him gifts of gold, incense and myrh
We observed his star at the rising


Initially most ancient kingdoms included only a few towns or cities. As they expanded it became necessary for the rulers to remind their subjects of their authority. Sovereigns would make annual official visits and literally hold court in each city. They would judge cases, pass laws and generally make their weight felt. The Greek name for this public appearance was "Epiphany" or demonstration. God made his demonstration at Bethlehem. Representatives from the Middle East came to see him. He still makes Epiphanies in our lives through miracles.

Related: Resources on Sunday Readings - Clipart, homelies, articles, coloring pages, music: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

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